N KOREA holds military parade ahead of Winter Olympics

Volunteers walk beside the Olympic rings at the Alpensia resort for the upcoming 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang South Korea

On the eve of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games, the US and South Korea vowed to work in tandem towards denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, but delivered messages suggesting very different approaches in dealing with the threat of North Korea and its weapons development program.

North Korea has no intention of meeting USA officials during the Winter Olympics that start in South Korea today, state media reported, dampening hopes the Games will help resolve a tense stand-off over the North's nuclear weapons programme.

Senior Pyongyang Foreign Ministry official Cho Yong Sam, however, said the North had no intention of meeting U.S. officials during the trip.

A bus last week took a team of reporters deep into the Demilitarized Zone (or DMZ) that divide North and South Korea. In addition to showing support for our USA athletes, the Vice President will show his confidence in and appreciation for our US military stationed in the region.

Ham said in a letter to Van Oosterom that the delegation's participation "will serve as a timely opportunity to reduce tensions on the Korean Peninsula and beyond by promoting an environment conducive to a peaceful, diplomatic, and political solution concerning the situation on the peninsula".

However, the North's high-ranking delegation, including the younger sister of its leader Kim Jong Un, will meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in and have lunch with him on Saturday. Kim made an eleventh-hour proposal to take part in the Games during his annual New Year's address.

Friday's ceremony will be attended by North Korea's delegation, including its nominal head of state, Kim Yong Nam.

Pence avoided public criticism of Moon, congratulating South Korea on hosting the games and pledging continued support in addressing the North's nuclear threat.

Pence will head the US government delegation visiting the Olympics' opening ceremony at Pyeongchang, South Korea.

South Korean Charge d'affaires Ham Sang Wook asked the committee early Wednesday to grant a sanctions exemption to the 23-member high-level delegation from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea - the country's official name - without naming Choe.

"Our resolve to stand with you is unshakable", Pence said. "As allies, we will not allow the North Koreans to use the Olympics as a way to drive a wedge between us", a U.S. State Department spokeswoman, Katina Adams, said.

And Pence's personal guest at the games will be Fred Warmbier, the father of Otto Warmbier, an American who died past year days after his release from captivity in North Korea.

"That right there was checkpoint 4", Gomez said.

"There may be a possibility for any kind of an encounter with North Koreans".

"A college student, who simply went on tour [to the North], fell into a coma [in captivity] and died soon after he was sent back home".

The North also has technology in place to make sure information can't cross over.

But privately, officials said Pence expressed concern to Moon about his more conciliatory tone toward North Korea.

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