US, DPRK tamp down on smack talk in lead-up to Winter Olympics

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(Reuters/Song Kyung-Seok/Pool) North and South Korea women's ice hockey athletes stand in a line at a dining hall at the Jincheon National Training Centre in Jincheon on January 25. "If he believes South Korea has gone too far on inter-Korean cooperation and done little on denuclearization, he could. punish the South".

Their visit followed last week's trip to the South by another group of North Koreans led by Pyongyang celebrity Hyon Song Wol, the leader of the famous Moranbong girl band who also heads an art troupe that will perform during the Games.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo enter Pacific Command headquarters in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018.

North Korea's reopened dialogue with South Korea and the North's upcoming participation in the winter Olympics are expected to be topics of conversation.

North Korea has used sports as symbolic gestures of reconciliation in the past, as evidenced by their previous experiences participating with South Korea, according to The Washington Post.

"Diplomacy should impose reason on Kim's reckless rhetoric and risky provocations", Mattis said.

The team, which consists of 35 players in total - 12 North Koreans and 23 South Koreans - is getting ready to compete at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, which begin on 9 February.

Russian Federation has denied re-exporting North Korean coal by saying that it abide by the norms of worldwide law.

"I'll meet President Moon Jae In to convey the Japanese government's position clearly to him and strongly urge South Korea to faithfully implement the agreement", Abe said.

However frustrating Pyongyang's success in breaking United Nations sanctions is to the United States and its allies, this is no time for a punitive response under President Donald Trump's "maximum pressure" policy to counter the North's nuclear defiance.

"South and North Korea should not stop trying to get closer to each other and it is important to try that constantly with patience and deep breath".

Nor were the images the first to make it into the public eye with US intelligence providing similar photographs to a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing in September past year.

On Friday, a researcher from North Korea's Social Science Institute issued a warning in the country's Rodong Sinmun newspaper that inter-Korean talks have not lowered the threat of a nuclear war on the peninsula.

Washington's sanctions in August also aim to ban exports of crude oil and petroleum products to North Korea due to its nuclear and missile programs.