North Korea Accuses US of Deploying Aircraft Carriers Around Korean Peninsula

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Despite its decision to send athletes, North Korea announced it would celebrate the founding of its military on February 8, an event generally marked with a large military parade displaying weapons such as missile launchers.

On Tuesday night during his state of the union address, President Donald Trump gave a strong warning about the nuclear ambitions that are being pursued by North Korea.

The North Korea monitoring group 38 North said in an analysis on Wednesday that satellite photos showed some 12,000 troops and 110 artillery pieces, tanks and armored vehicles practicing for a parade.

North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho wrote a letter to the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres asking the worldwide body to stop the United States from deploying military equipment and conducting joint drills in the Korean peninsula. Trump described them as witnesses "to the ominous nature" of the North Korean regime as he pledged his resolve.

Ten North Korean skaters and skiers arrived in rival South Korea on Thursday to participate in this month's Winter Olympics, which has brought a temporary lull in tensions over the North's nuclear weapons program.

The 25-year-old was taken to a nearby hospital, and officials later said he was released after a laceration on his ankle was treated. "The Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 are hopefully opening the door to a brighter future on the Korean peninsula, and inviting the world to join in a celebration of hope".

"This change in environment has led North Korea to turn to Seoul to talk about the PyeongChang games".

The flight to North Korea took off on January 31 with approximately 30 South Korean athletes heading to the Masikryong Ski Resort to train with their counterparts from the North.

"It is possible that he (the North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, Editor's note) has it, so it must be assumed that this is the case, but he has not proved it", commented General Paul Selva. "I don't think they can gain a big propaganda achievement by putting up one national flag".

Some experts say North Korea may want to use improved ties with the South as a way to weaken US-led global sanctions. Its latest ballistic missile test sparked fresh sanctions from the UN. They are assisting 242 athletes and as many as 30,000 US citizens.