'No road left' on North Korea issue, Trump says

North Korean defector Ji Seong-ho at the State of the Union address

"We think the Olympics will go very nicely", he said. "They were here and I said "let's tell your story".

The President went on to add: "We ran out of road". So we'll see what happens, but in the meantime, we'll get through the Olympics and maybe something good can come out of the Olympics. But the intrigue around the 2018 games began months ago.

In his phone call with Abe, Trump thanked the Japanese prime minister for his country's efforts to maintain global pressure on North Korea, including recent efforts to clamp down on Pyongyang's attempts to circumvent sanctions in the waters surrounding the Korean Peninsula.

The duo, Ryom Tae Ok and Kim Ju Sik, is the focus of intense media attention as they were the only North Korean athletes who were initially qualified to compete in the Pyeongchang Games before their Olympic committee missed a confirmation deadline. "These exercises ensure we are trained for combined joint operations".

USA officials have been issuing mixed messages throughout January surrounding ongoing inter-Korean talks and whether or not they can snowball into broader negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington on the topic of denuclearization.

Joseph Yun, the US special envoy on North Korea, said on Thursday he did not think the administration was close to triggering military action.

Seoul's Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said last week that North Korea is likely to hold a military parade on an "intimidating" scale on the eve of the PyeongChang Olympics.

North Korea is usually extremely sensitive about outside criticism of its human rights situation. The other 10, including a figure skating pair, arrived in South Korea on Thursday.

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