US, DPRK tamp down on smack talk in lead-up to Winter Olympics

Abe Emphasizes Maximum Pressure on N. Korea

But Mattis has consistently stressed non-military actions, including global sanctions.

The eight-member inspection team returned to North Korea after inspecting a Seoul performance facility that could host a show by a North Korean taekwondo demonstration team during the Olympics, which start on February 9.

Russian Federation on Friday denied reports that its ports were intermediaries for banned North Korean coal exports, helping to disguise shipments of the sanctioned commodity to South Korea and Japan.

U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis said that he is bolstering military options so that negotiators will have leverage in talks with North Korea over its nuclear program, talks that have yet to be scheduled but continue to be the goal of U.S. and South Korean officials.

Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, announced on January 17 that North and South Korea will participate together in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games as a joint team under a joint flag, according to BBC.

However, it notes that one of the ships allegedly involved in the illicit coal trade was cited for delivering North Korean coal to Kholmsk in the latest round of U.S. Treasury Department sanctions on Wednesday.

At the meeting, Abe is expected to call on South Korea to observe the December 2015 agreement the two nations signed to "finally and irreversibly" resolve the issue of the "comfort women", mainly Koreans, who were forced into prostitution for Japanese troops before and during World War II, the sources said.

Turkey blasts Germany, Belgium for indifference to attacks on its nationals
It said the rebels planned to strike Syrian troops in what it described as a USA -sponsored attempt to disrupt Syria peace talks. It estimates that there are around 400,000 people trapped under the government's siege.

In an interview with Yonhap News Agency, conducted after his trip on Friday to the Joint Security Area (JSA) and the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, which separates South and North Korea, Schroeder underlined the importance of patience to get over differences caused by decadeslong division.

The Defense Secretary reportedly said diplomacy would impose reason on the reckless rhetoric and risky provocations of North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un.

According to Choe Song-ho, the author of the article, the United States is playing a major role in increasing the likelihood of a nuclear war through its continued hostility toward North Korea.

Russian Federation has denied re-exporting North Korean coal by saying that it abide by the norms of worldwide law.

The president's remarks have raised concerns in the region that the US and North Korea are hurtling toward a confrontation.

"We expect South Korea's real GDP to grow by 3.0% y/y through 2019", stated Scotiabank.

In deciding to go to Pyeongchang, Abe also likely considered the need to affirm the importance of ongoing trilateral cooperation with the United States and South Korea, something he mentions whenever he talks about the response to the threat from North Korea.

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