North Korea Holds Massive Military Parade Ahead Of 2018 Winter Olympics

A rare photo of Kim Yo-jong, the younger sister of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-unWho is Kim Yo-jong?

Just before Pence's arrival, Moon's office announced he would meet with Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, in Pyeongchang.

South Korea wants to use the Olympics - which officially begin on Friday - to re-engage with North Korea and open the way for talks to resolve one of the world's most dangerous crises.

Performers holding aloft colourful props also lined up to form words and slogans during the procession in Kim II Sung Square.

Wearing a black fedora, the North Korean leader spoke from the balcony, addressing his people about the scourge of imperialism and the need to address it. "Together with Japan, and all our allies, let the world know this: We will continue to intensify our maximum pressure campaign until North Korea takes concrete steps toward complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization".

The opening ceremony's potentially awkward seating arrangement comes after a decades-long dispute between the US and North Korea, which has intensified as Kim Jong-un continues to build his nuclear arsenal in defiance of international sanctions.

Kim Yo Jong's profile has been steadily rising since 2014, when she was made deputy director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department of the Workers' Party.

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It wasn't clear whether North Korea displayed strategic weapons, such as intercontinental ballistic missiles, during the parade.

But the United Nations Command (UNC) officers who help oversee operations here and elsewhere along the 250-km (155-mile) DMZ say they are cautiously hopeful the recent flurry of talks and Olympics-related exchanges between the two Koreas will make their jobs less stressful.

"In time, she will become the last line of defense for him, telling him about the loyalty of his most trusted advisers", he said.

Seoul's Yonhap news agency quoted an anonymous government source, saying: "It seems that North Korea opened the parade at 10.30am (Seoul time)".

After his speech, Pence traveled to South Korea, where he is scheduled to attend opening ceremonies for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics on Friday.

Moon has looked to the game as an opportunity to pursue a diplomatic opening with the North - a move Pence will seek to caution against.

"You can't have it that one person opens the door and another closes it", he said.

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Footage has shown truckloads of soldiers being driven away from the centre of Pyongyang followed by armoured vehicles and tanks, as huge crowds cheers from the side of the procession.

Shortly before the parade was broadcast on state media, images trickled out on social media.

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

In the news conference, Pence reiterated his administration's hardline against North Korea, as well as its commitment to the safety and security of the Japanese people.

The focus of this parade was clearly on North Korea's fighting strength and not efforts for peace.

Under her brother's leadership, Kim Yo Jong has taken on more responsibility, dealing with policy, receiving intelligence briefings and acting "almost like a White House chief of staff would", said Madden.

The 30-year-old will join the North's high-level delegation to the South, in a charm offensive likely to irritate the United States.

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