Hi-Tech

Pence decries modern-day 'gulags' in North Korea

Pence decries modern-day 'gulags' in North Korea

Yang Moo Jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies, believes that Kim Yong Nam's appearance is part of the North's "peaceful diplomatic message to the United Nations, the US, Japan, and others", pointing to his symbolic diplomatic role and past experience attending Olympics ceremonies.

Qassemi said the move stands in direct contradiction to the spirits of Olympics because the global event calls for coming together regardless of colour, race, politics and religion. The parade, however, was seen as more sensitive.

This week, however, Olympics organizers told news agencies that although 4,000 athletes would get the phones, two countries may not be able to receive the giveaways: North Korea and Iran.

Koreans took to the streets a year ago to protest swirling scandals enveloping President Park Geun-hye - daughter of former dictator Park Chung-hee, who was assassinated in 1979 - leading to her impeachment and the peaceful election of President Moon Jae-in, who took office in May. Our senior national correspondent Matt Gutman is in South Korea with a closer look at how they're preparing and good morning to you, Matt. Matt, we don't see much security around you now but you are in one of the most secure and protected places in the entire world right now. The worldwide sanctions could bar Olympic organizers and sponsors from providing North Korean athletes with certain perks that hundreds of other Olympians will receive.

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

During the session, Tehran "strongly objected to this unethical behavior, which is contrary to the spirit of the Olympic games that have set their motto beyond color, religion, race and politics", Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said Thursday.

The vice president stopped in Tokyo on his way to South Korea where he will lead the United States delegation to the Olympic games and vowed to keep pressure on Pyongyang until it begins a "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization".




"The U.S. and North Korea are holding the key to developments on the Korean peninsula", Han told Moon, quoted in a statement provided by the Blue House. "But it also needed do tone down its rhetoric and actions as a peace initiative toward South Korea during the Olympics". But critics argue that North Korea only wanted improved ties to receive shipments of food and other aid to help revive its economy, which crumbled during a crippling starvation in the mid-1990s that killed hundreds of thousands of its people.

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

But his comments did not rule out a meeting - and nor has Pence, who lambasted the North Thursday but added: "There may be a possibility for any kind of an encounter with North Koreans", whether informal or a meeting.

However, Michael Spavor, one of very few foreigners who attended the parade, managed to take a footage.

North Korea sent cheering groups, comprised mainly of young women, to Busan and two other sporting events. But when they arrived at the Gangneung athletes' village, they were separated into different apartment buildings.

A month before the Busan Games, North Korean dancer Cho Myong Ae rose to stardom after she performed and served as a flag bearer for the North Korean delegation during a joint festival.

"Hockey really does bring people together", said the team's Canadian coach, Sarah Murray.


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