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mission told the Security Council committee the delegation was expected to attend the opening ceremonies on Friday and stay until Sunday. The 15-member committee makes decisions by consensus. The mission said the visit “will serve as a timely opportunity to reduce tensions on the Korean Peninsula and beyond by promoting an environment conducive to a peaceful, diplomatic and political solution concerning the situation on the Peninsula,” according to the request seen by Reuters. Pyongyang told Seoul that Choe, chairman of the National Sports Guidance Committee, would travel to Pyeongchang as part of its delegation led by Kim Yong Nam, North Korea’s nominal head of state, Seoul’s Unification Ministry said on Wednesday. The Security Council sanctioned Choe on June 2 last year when he was vice director of the Workers’ Party of the Korea Propaganda and Agitation Department, which controls ideological messaging through the media, arts and culture. Kim Yo Jong now holds that position. Kim Yo Jong was blacklisted last year by the U.S. Treasury Department over human rights abuses and censorship. While she is not subject to targeted sanctions by the U.N. Security Council, the propaganda and agitation department is blacklisted. “We are coordinating closely with the Republic of Korea regarding North Korean participation in the Olympics.
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The United States has always taken a tougher approach. Last year it banned US passport holders from travelling to North Korea, with exemptions for humanitarian and media work. And now it’s stepped up its warning with some scary new language. It’s possible for many travellers to venture inside Kim Jong-un’s enigmatic country — but they’re advised against it. Picture: AFP/Ed JonesSource:AFP The US State Department warned Americans this month to start planning their funeral and write a will if they wanted to proceed with plans to holiday in the hermit kingdom. In the midst of escalating nuclear tensions between North Korea and the US , the State Department kicked up its travel warning to the rouge nation to advisory level 4 — “do not travel” — which is the most serious warning on the scale. And as part of that level 4 warning, the State Department suggested travellers with special dispensation to travel to North Korea — and perhaps those planning to head there anyway — heed the following sobering advice. “Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney,” the State Department said on its recently updated website. Photograph released by North Korea’s regime shows Pyongyang residents greet officers of the Hwasong-15 missile test launch in Pyongyang on December 8.
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