Pence Hints At 'Toughest' Economic Sanctions Yet Against North Korea

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On Wednesday in Japan, Pence announced "the toughest and most aggressive round of economic sanctions on North Korea ever".

In February 2017 his half-brother Kim Jong-nam was assassinated at an airport in Kuala Lumpur, allegedly by female attackers wielding a chemical weapon. US officials declined to provide details of the expected sanctions.

USA officials have declined to elaborate on the sanctions Pence mentioned, saying any further information could help countries that might try to get around the measures - an apparent oblique reference to Chinese vessels that have been caught on satellite trading oil with North Korean ships in violation of United Nations sanctions.

Before departing for Asia, US Vice President Mike Pence, who is leading his country's Olympic delegation, fuelled speculation of a potential meeting by telling reporters that he had not ruled out meeting with the North Koreans on the sidelines in PyeongChang.

By sending a relative, "Kim Jong Un may be trying to present himself as an equal to Donald Trump", Hong said.

Thousands of goose-stepping troops could be seen saluting a smiling Kim Jong Un, who was dressed in black, flanked by military personnel and also his wife Ri Sol Ju in a rare appearance.

The more hawkish view is the North Koreans are taking a conciliatory stance to put pressure on the alliance between the USA and South Korea.

But it noted conservative South Koreans and U.S. officials were concerned North Korea's large presence at the Olympics could caused cracks in the worldwide alliance opposing North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

Among the most noteworthy pieces of hardware that made an appearance at the parade were four giant Hwasong-15 long-range missiles, part of the ballistics program that has attracted further sanctions from the world community against the country.

"North Korea is notorious for waging peace offensives after tensions", said Duyeon Kim, a fellow at the Korean Peninsula Future Forum.

She's also a vice director of North Korea's propaganda department, and, analysts say, one of her brother's closest confidants. Spavor known as the person, among other things, who helped organize National Basketball Association star Dennis Rodman's trip to the DPRK and visited Kim Jong-un summer residence with him.

However, the U.S. Treasury Department past year included Kim Yo Jong on its list of blacklisted officials over her position as vice director of the ruling Workers' Party's Propaganda and Agitation Department. She shares the same mother as Kim Jong Un and was promoted to the ruling party's executive committee a year ago.

South Korean officials are mulling whether to refuel a North Korean ferry called the Mangyongbong-92 that is carrying performers for participation in the Olympics, as the United Nations sanctions place restrictions on supplying fuel to the North.

To get it out of the way: the answer to the question is PyeongChang in North Korea is hell no.

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