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North Korea derides South's criticism over military parade before Olympics

05 February 2018

Some experts see the North's cooperation in the South Korean-hosted Olympics as an attempt to use improved inter-Korean ties as a way to weaken USA -led worldwide sanctions against North Korea. "The road really ended (and) they could've done it 12 years ago".

It will force coaches and players to overcome wide differences, from training and tactics to diet and motivation.

"Nobody has the right to take issue" with the event, said Rodong Sinmun, the official daily of North Korea "s ruling Workers" Party.

South Korean officials say they view the two as support staff though some social media and online message boards speculated they might be security agents assigned to prevent North Korean athletes and others from interacting too much with foreigners or possibly defecting to South Korea.

Four North Korean players were on Murray's start-list, and they were absorbed into the line-up with unexpected ease as the Korean team avoided an expected heavy defeat against a team rated genuine medal contenders in Pyeongchang.

The Pentagon did not respond to a request for comment on the North Korean statement about the drills, but a spokesman for the U.S. State Department, Mike Cavey, said: "The United States and our allies and partners in the region have long conducted routine exercises to maintain readiness".

Pence has "grave concerns" that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "will hijack the messaging around the Olympics".

"Please help us to stop the repatriations from China to North Korea", she implored Trump.

During his June visit, Chang rejected South Korean President Moon Jae-in's proposal for sports diplomacy, telling local reporters that stable political conditions between the two countries were a prerequisite, and that politics was "above sports".

In this Joint Press Corps photo, Sarah Murray, head coach of the joint Korean women's hockey team, speaks at a press conference after a 3-1 loss to Sweden in an exhibition game at Seonhak International Ice Rink in Incheon on February 4, 2018.

Lee added that "escaping North Korea is not like leaving another country, it's more like leaving another universe".

"We ran out of road", he said.

"Everything was competition", Choi said. Eating was a competition too.

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

Olympic Athletes will be getting about 37 condoms each when they come to South Korea.

Tensions spiralled previous year 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.

North Korea derides South's criticism over military parade before Olympics