North Korea cancelled meeting with Pence at the Olympics, says White House


According to US officials, North Korea "dangled" an opportunity for Mike Pence, US vice-president, to meet a high-level political delegation from Pyongyang following the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games in South Korea earlier this month.

North Korea has said the military drills "can never be compatible" with talks between the North and South, but the USA has made it clear that it wants denuclearization of the Koreas above all, and will achieve the goal diplomatically or militarily.

Kim Yong Chol has been blacklisted under South Korea's unilateral sanctions, but Seoul has exempted him for the special occasion.

"I received an analysis that, if worldwide sanctions against the North continue like this, all of North Korea's foreign currency earnings and overseas assets will be frozen, and its dollar [reserves] will dry up around October", Kang said. "Therefore, no amount of talks between North and the going to change anything significantly".

The latest visit by officials from the normally reclusive North will coincide with a US delegation led by President Donald Trump's daughter, Ivanka, though no mutual meeting is expected.

During her three-day stay in the ROK, the younger Kim met and lunched with President Moon Jae-in at Moon's presidential compound in Seoul, delivering the DPRK leader's invitation to Moon to visit Pyongyang at a convenient time.

U.S and North Korean relations were at an all-time low over the past year with leaders of both countries taking personal jabs at one another.

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The International Olympic Committee paid roughly $50,000 to for the training and preparation of North Korea's 22 Olympic athletes, or about $2,300 each. They would not have wanted to miss the chance. The day before landing in Pyeonchang, Pence told reporters that "we haven't requested a meeting with North Korea".

It's official: Ivanka Trump is Olympics bound.

They had planned to meet secretly while in South Korea, but United States officials said Pyongyang scrapped the plan after Pence denounced North Korea's "murderous regime".

But the North Koreans pulled out of the meeting before it could happen. And the State Department said that while Pence was willing to meet, he would have used the opportunity to "drive home the necessity of North Korea abandoning its illicit ballistic missile and nuclear programs".

But the North appears to be much more prepared for a potential USA encounter this time, according to Yang, who called Kim Yo Jong "no match" for Pence.

Relations between the two Koreas have been apparently improving after North Korea chose to join the Pyeongchang Olympics. He is leading the WPK's department in charge of affairs with the South.



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