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Pence: US, Allies to Continue Peacefully Dismantling North Korea's Nuke Program

Pence: US, Allies to Continue Peacefully Dismantling North Korea's Nuke Program

After months of rising tension over the North's nuclear programme, South Korea's president Moon Jae-in believes the Olympics in Pyeongchang could help bring North Korea to the table for talks.

Kim did not address the Olympics in his speech, which, according to the edited footage released by North Korean state television after the parade, lasted about 15 minutes-including applause breaks and a brief appearance by a woman, possibly his sister Kim Yo Jong, from behind a column.

These military parades are closely watched for evidence to back up North Korea's claims that it is now able to reach continental U.S. with a nuclear-tipped missile.

Fireworks went off as Kim Jong-un took his place on the rostrum to watch the display, along with his wife, Ri Sol-ju, and ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-nam - who is to head Pyongyang's delegation to the Olympics today.

Analysts say Kim Yo Jong inclusion in the Olympic delegation shows North Korea's ambition to use the Olympics to break out from diplomatic isolation by improving relations with the South, which it could use as a bridge for approaching the US. North Korea said it detonated a hydrogen bomb designed for a long-range missile on September 3 and called its sixth and most powerful nuclear test a "perfect success", sparking world condemnation and promises of tougher USA sanctions.

North Korea has held a military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of its armed forces, just one day before South Korea hosts the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics. A livestream of the parade was also not available this time, while foreign journalists were not invited as in previous years.

"The Korean government is basically in close consultation with the global community including the United States, when necessary, in accordance with the basic principle that North Korea's participation in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games should not cause controversy related to worldwide sanctions against North Korea", South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman Noh Ku-duk said Tuesday, according to Voice of America.

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Mr Moon's spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said the North Korean delegates will attend the opening ceremony of the Games on Friday evening.

Two of North Korea's most senior officials will also be there.

"As long as imperialism is present on the Earth and [United States'] hostile policy against North Korea continues, the mission of the Korea People's Army to be the strong sword that protects the country and people, and peace can never change", Kim said.

North Korea already is facing unprecedented sanctions after three U.N. Security Council restrictions in the past year that have slashed the pariah nation's export revenue and capped fuel imports.

Ri, who was 16 at the time, garnered high popularity in South Korea and overseas for her looks, with experts speculating her stardom helped her land favor with North Korea's elite, as well as Kim.

The Pyeongchang Games have taken on an unusually political tone after the North agreed to participate.

The US "will not allow North Korean propaganda to hijack the message and imagery of the Olympic Games".

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