N Korean athletes land in South for Games

RICK WILKING  REUTERS  Newscom

RICK WILKING REUTERS Newscom

Also in his address, Trump honoured Ji Seong-Ho, a North Korean defector with only one arm and one leg who made a dramatic, 6,000-mile journey to the South after suffering severe discrimination and torture at home.

The Belarusian biathlon team are already in South Korea.

Aides to Pence told reporters last week that the American vice president will work in Seoul to oppose any relaxation of the global pressure on North Korea, which is believed to be just months away from being able to strike the United States with a nuclear-armed missile.

"It's speaking truth on the world stage, which is the opposite of what the North Koreans do".

North Korea has only appeared at two previous Summer Paralympics- London in 2012 and Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

The delegation plans to arrive Friday for a three-day visit at the start of the Pyeongchang Olympics.

That set off a rapid series of meetings which saw the two agree to march together in the opening ceremony and form a unified women's ice hockey team, their first for 27 years.

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Kim Yong-nam, the President of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of North Korea, would lead a group of government representatives travelling to the South between February 9 and 11, said the Ministry's statement according to Efe news.

SOUTH Korean fans chanting "We are one" and wearing shirts with the unification flag emblazoned on the front packed into a freezing ice hockey arena yesterday to cheer on the joint Korean women's team in a tune-up for this month's Winter Olympics.

North Korea's Jong Su-Hyon added: "I believe that we can achieve a good outcome at every game if the North and South's players gather strengths and minds together and run and run".

The North earlier agreed to send athletes, high-ranking officials, performers, cheerleaders and taekwondo demonstrators to the PyeongChang Games in the South.

Mr Trump has expressed a willingness to deal with rising tensions with Pyongyang through diplomacy, but he has also insisted the U.S. would use military force on North Korea if needed.

He went onto say that the North's "self-defense force centered on nuclear power" would "thoroughly suppress the temerity of Trump and his subordinates on the peninsula". They are mostly from relatively affluent families and a defection would make their relatives in the north face possible reprisals.

The team has been considered controversial by some, though, for political reasons as it is seen by some in the South Korea as a concession too far.

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