Trump On North Korea Getting Nuclear Weapons: 'They Get Closer Every Day'

Jan 19, 2018, 02:43
Trump On North Korea Getting Nuclear Weapons: 'They Get Closer Every Day'

South Korea and the DPRK agreed to field a joint women's ice hockey team for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

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.

North Korea will send a 550-member delegation, including 230 cheerleaders, 140 artists and 30 Taekwondo players for a demonstration, the ministry said.

North and South Korean skiers will train together at a resort in North Korea before the Olympics start, and performers from the two countries will also hold a joint cultural event there.

Many critics are skeptical of Kim's abrupt overture, believing he may be trying to use the Olympics to weaken US -led worldwide pressure and sanctions toughened after North Korea's sixth and biggest nuclear test and a series of missile launches previous year.

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

After threathening the United States and its allies in the region, Japan and South Korea, for months with nuclear weapons, it dramatically changed its tone earlier this month.

A unified team of any kind at the Olympics would be a milestone for the Koreas, which have been bitter rivals in global sports as well as diplomacy and armed conflict, but which also have a history of trying to use sports as an avenue for reconciliation.

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More than 100 petitions have been sent to South Korea's presidential Blue House website opposing a joint Olympics team. Tillerson believes China also recognizes it's facing from North Korea's nuclear development and missile tests, despite a long history of economic support.

The objective, said U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, was to increase the "maximum-pressure campaign" on North Korea by clamping down on its efforts to evade sanctions through smuggling and other illicit activity.

When athletes from the rival Koreas paraded together behind a single flag for the first time at the opening ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Olympics, it was a highly emotional event that came on a wave of hope for reconciliation following their leaders' first-ever summit talks.

The decision Wednesday to add North Korean players to the South's women's hockey team, which has already qualified for the games, is seen by many as unfair to the players, who earned their positions.

When traveling overseas, however, North Korean athletes and coaches tend to cloister themselves away from outsiders when they are not competing or practicing.

"It is not the time to ease pressure, or to reward North Korea", Kono said.

The meeting, the third between the two sides within 10 days, was attended by a delegation of the north side led by Jon Jong Su, vice-chairman of the Committee for Peaceful Reunification of the Country and a delegation of the south side with Chun Hae-sung, vice-minister of Unification as its chief delegate, said KCNA.