Global News

Pence wrapping up Olympic visit to South Korea

Pence wrapping up Olympic visit to South Korea

The message was delivered by Kim's sister, Kim Yo-jong, during a meeting with Moon at Cheong Wa Dae.

South Korean president Moon Jae-in has met North Korean officials, including Kim Jong-un's sister, over lunch at Seoul's presidential palace, a historic event that is the highest level contact between the two nations in more than a decade.

The Trump administration will now talk to Kim Jong Un's regime without preconditions.

Pyongyang conducted its largest nuclear test previous year and in November tested its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile that experts said has the range to reach anywhere in the United States.

The meeting could be a prelude to a summit between leaders from the two countries, and Moon has already said he is willing to travel to Pyongyang to meet Kim Jong-un.

Pence was quoted as describing the approach as "maximum pressure and engagement at the same time".

In making the request, North Korea did not demand South Korea stop military exercises with the U.S., it did not demand the withdrawal of United States forces from the Peninsula, but it also did not agree to stop its nuclear program.

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North Korea agreed to participate in Pyeongchang after Games host South Korea and the International Olympic Committee encouraged the reclusive, heavily sanctioned state to participate as a gesture of peace.

Cheong Seong Chang, a senior research fellow at the Sejong Institute, told NK News that Kim's concession sought to help Pyongyang in "escaping from a serious global isolation".

He also insisted that Washington was on the same page with its allies, saying "there is no daylight between the United States, the Republic of Korea, and Japan on the need to continue to isolate North Korea economically and diplomatically until they abandon their nuclear ballistic missile program".

"Kim Jong Un moved away from the original negative stance on the inter-Korean summit and change his stance of holding the summit without conditions", said Cheong.

During Pence's visit, Moon assured the vice president he would tell the North Koreans clearly that they would not get economic or diplomatic concessions for just talking, only for taking concrete steps toward denuclearization, the newspaper said.

The North Koreans were to fly back to Pyongyang later Sunday on a private jet, wrapping up a three-day trip. "It can postpone the revival of highly unsafe tensions, for a few weeks or a few months and this is good".


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