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North Korea Cancelled Planned Meeting With Mike Pence

Washington (February 21, 2018): US Vice President Mike Pence was set to meet with North Korean officials, including Kim Jong Un’s sister, during his politically charged visit to the Winter Olympics in South Korea earlier this month, his office confirmed on Tuesday.

But the North Koreans pulled out of the meeting before it could happen. Pence’s office said they believed the abrupt cancellation was a sign that US attempts to exert pressure on the regime were working.“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,” said Nick Ayers, Pence’s chief of staff.

President Donald Trump had signed off on the decision to meet, with the caveat that the United States wouldn’t back off its stated demand that Pyongyang abandon its nuclear weapons.North Korea sent a 500-strong delegation to the games made up of athletes, cheerleaders, domestic media and high-ranking government officials — including Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korea’s leader and head of the country’s propaganda department, and Kim Yong Nam, North Korea’s ceremonial head of state.Their attendance was the result of diplomatic negotiations earlier this year between Seoul and Pyongyang, the first high-level talks in more than two years.

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