Vice President Mike Pence is set to unveil the Trump administration's newest sanctions against North Korea as he travels to the region ahead of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, saying the crippling resolutions were the "toughest and most aggressive" policies ever levied against Kim Jong Un.
"We have never begged for dialogue with the USA nor [will we] in the future", the North's state-run KCNA news agency quoted Jo Yong-sam, a director-general at the foreign ministry.
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The 22-member delegation will be headed by the communist state's ceremonial head of state, Kim Yong-nam.
President Moon Jae-in on Thursday met top U.S. and Chinese officials and called for close collaboration on the North Korean nuclear issue.
It's highly unlikely that the luncheon will lead to an immediate breakthrough in global tensions over North Korea's nuclear weapons development, but just holding such a meeting seemed unimaginable only a few months ago.
"We will continue to isolate North Korea until it abandons its nuclear and ballistic missile program once and for all", Pence said. "Our continued hope is that by advancing a maximum pressure campaign of additional economic sanctions, additional diplomatic pressure, we will be able to resolve the issues facing the Korean Peninsula peaceably, but all options are on the table", said Mike Pence, US Vice President.
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Also joining the cast in a live-action role is Antonio Banderas , with Michael Sheen in talks to join the production. The cast will be led by Robert Downey Jr as the title character, a doctor who has the ability to speak to animals.
But none of them were spotted in satellite imagery ahead of the parade, according to respected United States website 38 North. It's unclear if North Korean athletes are eligible to receive the phones, an Olympics official told Reuters.
North Korean military parades typically feature thousands of goose-stepping troops and hundreds of armored vehicles, culminating with missiles rolling through Kim Il Sung Square - the highlight for Pyongyang-watchers who examine them for clues about the progress of its technology.
But the historic move could also increase the likelihood of a strategic rift between South Korea and the U.S., since Washington is generally more skepticalof North Korea's intentions and more inclined to lay out preconditions tied to its nuclear program for high-level talks. It will also include the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's sister, Kim Yo-jong. At the same time, the vice president has deliberately left the door open to a possible encounter with North Korean officials expected to be in attendance.
Another senior official at the Blue House said there will likely be more than one meeting between Moon and Kim before the DPRK delegation leaves the South on Sunday.
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The new policy calls for expanding USA nuclear capabilities, with an eye on countering Russia's growing nuclear power. To the dismay of some anti-nuclear commentators, Trump called New START "a one-sided deal".