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The number of confirmed cases of norovirus at the Winter Games has risen to 86 from 32 in just two days as Olympic officials struggle to track the source of the outbreak on the eve of the opening ceremony.

They are to make a three-day visit to the South starting from Friday.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on Thursday the United States and its allies were striving to peacefully dismantle North Korea's nuclear programme and alleviate the suffering of its people but reiterated that all options were on the table.

The US and North Korea have been locked in a fierce war of words, with US President Donald Trump mocking North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un as "rocket man" and the young dictator threatening to rain nuclear destruction on the United States.

It allowed North Korea to use a 9,700-ton ferry to transport more than 100 artists to perform at the Olympics and says it's considering whether to accept the North's request to supply fuel for the ship.

But some experts said that the North is taking a "deceptive" peace offensive to weaken global sanctions and drive a wedge in the decadeslong alliance between Seoul and Washington by sending a delegation to the games. But it remains unclear whether any intercontinental ballistic missiles were on show. Pence and the White House have made it clear that, in addition to supporting the American athletes, the vice president's presence and message are meant to intimidate North Korea and push back against the rogue nation's nuclear weapons agenda.

Kim Yo Jong was promoted by her brother past year to a new post in the regime's ruling party that analysts said showed she is more than a mere figurehead.

In this image taken from video footage, North Korean military personnel salute as they lay flowers in front of giant statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill in central Pyongyang, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018.

North Korea said the delegation will also include Choe Hwi, chairman of the country's National Sports Guidance Committee, and Ri Son Gwon, chairman of the North's agency that deals with inter-Korean affairs.

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North Korea's state-run Rodong Sinmun daily screamed Wednesday that the resumption of joint U.S.

Abe added that the allies would urge other countries not to be "captivated by the charm offensive of North Korea".

Pyongyang normally invites hundreds of foreign journalists to show off the spectacle to the world but did not do so this time, possibly an indication that it wanted to control how the display was seen - which would be in keeping with the absence of live coverage. "Provocative actions are continuing", he said.

Speaking in Washington on Wednesday, US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis did not rule out the possibility of Pence having contact with North Korea.

But North Korean athletes won't have the fun of taking selfies and filming their time in the South with the Samsung phone.

"As long as imperialism is present on the Earth and US's hostile policy against North Korea continues, the mission of the Korea People's Army to be the strong sword that protects the country and people, and peace can never change", Kim said.

"The traditional Olympic truce this year takes on special importance", he said at his weekly general audience.

"It's critical to look at how best we can improve what we had started in 2014".

He told USA troops at Yokota Air Base in Japan that the U.S. and its allies were striving to peacefully dismantle the regime's nuclear programme and alleviate the suffering of its people, but reiterated that all options were on the table.