North Korea Officials Continue The Inspection Of The Olympics Venues

Posted January 29, 2018

(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. Today, the South Korean Unification Ministry told South Korean media that the venue would be suitable for a training session for non-Olympic skiers.

The allegations were supported by sources in a Western shipping company and the USA national security apparatus, both of whom said North Korean coal was-and is-flowing through Russian ports.

The agency clarified that it failed to contact the shipowners suspected of carrying coal to South Korea and Japan, nor to confirm that the exported coal was the same arrived from North Korea.

"We could fight tonight, shoulder to shoulder with the Koreans - or South Koreans, if they're attacked", Mattis added.

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Mattis insisted his meeting with Song "was not set up directly because of the Olympics" or the ongoing talks.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said Thursday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland that the notion of using military force to make North Korea stop its nuclear program was "unacceptable".

The United States banned the transfer of refined oil products to and from North Korea in August of previous year.

That the war of words between the Trump administration and North Korean President Kim Jong-un had entered a risky new phase, with rhetoric backed by an explicit threat, would not have been lost on Kim and his advisers.

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U.N. Security Council Resolution 2397 caps North Korea's imports of refined petroleum at 500,000 barrels a year.

Tellingly, Trump's war-like rhetoric changed abruptly when news of possible North-South talks was announced - the U.S. president issuing positive remarks about their significance and postponing joint military exercises with South Korea.

Last week, the International Olympics Committee and the two Koreas reached an agreement on the North's participation in next month's Winter Games in the South. Twenty-two North Korean athletes will compete in ice hockey, ice skating and skiing across five disciplines - ice hockey, figure skating, short track speedskating, cross-country skiing and alpine skiing.

South Korea had asked the North to provide the power to hold the concert, according to the government official.

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Abe also intends to tell Moon that their countries and the United States need to work closely together to deal with North Korea's nuclear and missile development. South Korean military officials also have said the drills would resume but it's too soon to disclose the exact date and size.