Russia - Vancouver meeting is aggravating situation around North Korea

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With the 2018 Winter Olympics set to kick off on 9 February in Pyeongchang, South Korea, its northern neighbour North Korea has announced the opening of a new ski resort, Kanggye.

The International Olympic Committee will host officials from the Koreas in Switzerland this weekend to approve the agreement and iron out details of their cooperation amid concerns about a joint hockey team.

The event may raise eyebrows as bilateral talks between the North and South progresses, and as South Korea prepares to welcome a North Korean delegation to participate in the Winter Olympics.

The U.S. claims that it is its hardline policy against Pyongyang that has led to this thaw on the Korean peninsula but in reality, it has been a largely Korean process- DPRK leader Kim Jong-un's New Year's speech helped paved the way for talks that President Moon Jae-in had been planning for.

"Despite these overtures to improve relations with the South, North Korea has yet to show any intention to fulfill its global obligations regarding denuclearization", said South Korea's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha.


For the PyeongChang Paralympics, the North will send a delegation of 150 people, including athletes, members of the North's Paralympic committee, cheerleaders, art group members and reporters.

Our Bae Joo-yon has more on what the upcoming Olympics will look like with the participation of North Korea.

Kim, who launched a flurry of missiles and the North's sixth and largest nuclear test last year, mentioned plans for a large celebration of the army's 70th anniversary in his 2018 new year address, urging the military to "organise combat drills like real battles".

Both Koreas have appeared together at the openings of previous Olympic Games, but this would be the first joint team in one sport.

"Russia is not helping us at all with North Korea", Trump said in an interview with Reuters on Wednesday.


Yet he also delivered a warning to China and Russian Federation, neither of which were invited to participate in the Vancouver meeting, and both of which have been accused of helping Kim Jong-Un's regime skirt worldwide sanctions. The Korean Unification flag, which depicts a blue silhouette of the peninsula and its outlying islands on a white background, was made to represent both countries as one team during sporting events.

Seoul hopes that the ongoing inter-Korean talks, which are mostly limited to the Olympics, will pave the way for denuclearization talks between Washington and Pyongyang.

White House officials continue to try to spin the bilateral Korea talks as some sort of trick, saying they believe North Korea's goal is to "evict" U.S. troops from South Korea.

North and South Korea are still technically at war with each other, as the 1950-53 conflict between the two states ended in a truce, not peace.


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