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North Korea shows off its military might ahead of Olympic Games

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By Tokunbo Salako  with reuters
Kim Jong-un was celebrated at the parade
Kim Jong-un was celebrated at the parade

The winter Olympics may have been dubbed the "peace games" but North Korea has left little doubt it remains a force to be reckoned with.

On the eve of the competition it staged a massive show of its military strength - an annual event usually held in April.

With tensions still high over its nuclear programme, US officials are threatening new sanctions. "Our continued hope is that by advancing a maximum pressure campaign of additional economic sanctions, additional diplomatic pressure, we will be able to resolve the issues facing the Korean Peninsula peaceably, but all options are on the table," said Mike Pence, US Vice President.

Protocol headache

It's shaping up to be an extremely delicate diplomatic mission.

Mike Pence will be accompanied by the father of Otto Warmbier, the American student who died shortly in America shortly after being released from jail in North Korea. Ties are likely to be further strained by the presence of Kim Yo-jung, the younger sister of the North Korean leader. She is blacklisted under US sanctions and is known for overseeing the regime’s propaganda department as part of her increasingly prominent role in the ruling Worker's party.