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South Korea holds Panama oil tanker suspected of North Korea trade

South Korea holds Panama oil tanker suspected of North Korea trade

The South Korean president requested the ministries of unification and sports to swiftly create measures to help North Korea participate in the upcoming Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

"These military exercises that you have with our enemy the U.S. must be halted at this very moment, because this behavior only causes fire and destruction on this great country", the North Korean leader said, apparently addressing South Korea.

The New Year's address is an annual event in the North and is watched closely for indications of the direction and priorities Kim may adopt in the year ahead.

All of inter-Korean communication channels have been severed since the previous South Korean government under impeached President Park Geun-hye decided unilaterally to close down the Kaesong Industrial Complex in response to the DPRK's fourth nuclear test in January 2016.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un makes a speech at 5th Conference of Cell Chairpersons of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) on December 23 in this photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang December 24, 2017.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has repeatedly called for North Korea to join the Olympic games.

British woman Laura Plummer jailed for taking painkiller Tramadol to Egyptian lover
A British woman accused of smuggling drugs into Egypt has been jailed for three years, according to reports. There had been concerns that she could face up to 25 years in jail, or even the death penalty.

South Korea says it is inspecting a Panama-flagged oil tanker suspected of evading global sanctions by trading with North Korea. However, he also steadfastly declared North Korea a nuclear power.

Pyongyang claims it needs nuclear weapons to protect itself from a hostile USA and sees American military activities in the region - such as the joint drills it takes part in with the South - as a precursor to invasion.

The minister said communication channels between the two Koreas in Panmunjom should be restored immediately to hold the inter-Korean, inter-governmental talks, suggesting to discuss details on the January 9 dialogue, such as setting agenda and forming delegations through the restored communication channels.

He called for improved ties and a relaxation of military tensions with South Korea, saying the Winter Olympics could showcase the status of the Korean nation.

North Korea would focus in 2018 on "mass-producing nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles for operational deployment".

After the United Nations council passed the resolution, drafted by the U.S., Trump tweeted, "The World wants Peace, not Death!"

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