North Korean officials snubbed Mike Pence Tuesday, backing out on a secret meeting with the vice president during his trip to the Olympics.
The VP was scheduled to rendezvous with Kim Jong Un’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, which was brokered through the CIA, but the diplomatic pow-wow was scratched after Pence announced the “toughest, most aggressive” sanctions against the regime yet.
The move comes as relations between North Korea and South Korea have thawed, to the annoyance of the Trump administration.
The President has sought to put “maximum pressure” on the North Korean leadership.
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“North Korea dangled a meeting in hopes of the Vice President softening his message, which would have ceded the world stage for their propaganda during the Olympics,” the vice president’s chief of staff, Nick Ayers, said.
Pence highlighted the north’s human rights abuses.
“North Korea would have strongly preferred the vice president not use the world stage to call attention to those absolute facts or to display our strong alliance with those committed to the maximum pressure campaign. But as we’ve said from day one about the trip: this administration will stand in the way of Kim’s desire to whitewash their murderous regime with nice photo ops at the Olympics,” Ayers said.
The administration has sought to fortify diplomatic relations with Japan and South Korea.
With News Wire Services
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