Top North Korean official to visit South for Winter Olympics

Top North Korean official to visit South for Winter Olympics”

Kim Yong Nam has sometimes represented North Korea overseas in recent years, visiting Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Singapore and Vietnam.

After the memorial visit, Pence heads to Pyeongchang for the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games and remains at the Games until Saturday.

Tensions spiralled a year ago as the North carried out multiple weapons tests, including intercontinental ballistic missiles it says are capable of reaching the mainland United States, and its most powerful nuclear blast to date.

Pence is leading a USA delegation to the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea in part to offset efforts by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to present what President Donald Trump's advisers see as a facade of worldwide goodwill and cooperation.

The Olympics will begin Friday with an opening ceremony in Pyeongchang, a relatively small ski resort town that will host the skiing, snowboard and sliding competitions.

Officials said on Monday that North Korea's ceremonial leader Kim Yong Nam is traveling to South Korea this week, making him the most senior North Korean official to enter the country since the Korean War ended with a truce in 1953, and raising hopes about potential inter-Korean talks.

CNN said that a White House official told reporters last month that a lot of vice presidents in the past have gone ceremoniously to the Olympics and that's great, but Pence would not attend the Olympics if that's what it is about.

Citing White House officials, CNN reported that Ivanka will lead a delegation for the closing ceremony of the February 9-25 Winter Olympics, at the request of the president and the U.S. International Olympic Committee.

Kim Yong-Nam will be the highest-level Northern official to visit the South since 2014. Picking his younger sibling would've been symbolic but politically provocative, because she would've been the first Kim family member to visit South Korea.

Lankov said that the politician's presence indicated that North Korea wanted to show it was serious about cooperation.

The South's new President Moon Jae-In has long argued for engagement to bring the North to the negotiating table over its nuclear ambitions, which have seen it subjected to multiple sets of United Nations Security Council sanctions.

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