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North Korea slams United States sanctions as wild violation of int'l law

But the official said that as a major trade partner of North Korea, there is more China can do, including cutting oil supply and other key items.

South Korea may decide to ship refined petroleum to North Korea to power an inter-Korean cultural event next week.

Song also said that he and his American counterpart would exchange opinions on South Korean President Moon Jae-in's recent statement that the inter-Korea dialogue is ultimately meant to draw the North into talks with the United States.

Sources also say that South and North Korea will each receive half of the seats that have a clear view of the stage (which represent about half of the total 620 seats in the concert hall).

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.

The agreement between North and South Korea on the North's participation in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games is a breakthrough in ties that have been frozen for two years.

"Our combined militaries stand shoulder-to-shoulder ready to defend against any attack" on South Korea or the United States, he said.

The scholar suggested that North Korea coming to the talks is largely aimed at breaking free of the mounting pressure imposed by economic sanctions, countering conventional wisdom that the North's overture is created to drive a wedge between South Korea and the US.

U.N. Security Council Resolution 2397 caps North Korea's imports of refined petroleum at 500,000 barrels a year.

China has always been the North's chief economic partner and political ally but North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's refusal to rein in his regime's provocative actions has left Beijing officials increasingly frustrated.

"President Trump has refrained to give space to (South Korean President) Moon Jae-in to engage North Korea over the Olympics and has been consumed with domestic issues, while provocative statements by Kim Jong Un would have undermined (Kim's) efforts to reach a deal for North Korea to take part in the Olympics", Stangarone said.

Some South Korean athletes are disdainful at the prospect of giving up their hard-earned spots for North Korean athletes, according to The New York Times.

Kalma Airport, a military airfield that could be used to transport South Koreans participating in the skiing session, was also in decent shape, according to the ministry official.

The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has said all options are on the table when it comes to North Korea's pursuit of a nuclear-tipped missile capable of striking the United States.

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