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The U.S.is continuing efforts to make sure North Korea is not successful in further developing its missile and nuclear weapons program.

Mt. Kumgang was once a venue bustling with South Korean tourists when the two Koreas launched a joint tour project in 1998.

Young Christians, both male and female, have jumped on the anti-North Korea bandwagon, filming themselves lighting pictures of North Korean leader Kim Jung-un on fire. Three North Korean athletes will compete in the cross-country skiing.

North Korea is likely to hold a military parade on an "intimidating" scale to mark the 70th founding anniversary of its military, one day before the opening of the PyeongChang Olympics, a Seoul official said Friday.

The intensification of the US -led campaign is a counterpoint to a thaw in relations between North and South Korea revolving around the North's participation in next month's Winter Olympics being hosted by the South.

According to RFA, these latest measures dealt serious financial blow as latest United Nations estimates suggest over 100,000 North Koreans working overseas send some US$500 million in earnings to the Kim regime annually. Tensions escalated dramatically previous year as the regime of Kim Jong Un stepped up its programme aimed at developing a nuclear-tipped missile capable of striking the United States. "They need to be serious about denuclearization and we're not seeing that they are serious about denuclearization".

"We can not understand those that label the games as the 'Pyongyang Olympics, '" Park Soo-hyun, a Blue House spokesperson, said in a statement earlier this week.

But North Korea, which agreed to participate in the Winter Games as part of rare talks with the South, demanded a complete suspension.

President Moon Jae-in's approval rating dropped to its lowest level in four months. -South Korea war games that have raised the ire of Pyongyang in the past.

It also bans anyone from buying more than the allowed amount of coal or iron mined in North Korea.

China, the main source of North Korea's fuel, said on Thursday it had exported no oil products to North Korea in December except for a tiny cargo of jet fuel, the latest sign that Beijing has kept up pressure on its isolated neighbour. Sayari Analytics, a firm that uses open data to monitor the connections between businesses, identified more than 100 entities in Hong Kong linked to sanctioned North Korean firms.

On concerns about a growing trade dispute between Seoul and Washington, she said the USA has a "very strong alliance partnership and friendship" with South Korea and that won't change.