Tillerson says 'too early' for direct United States talks with North Korea

Tillerson says 'too early' for direct United States talks with North Korea

Tillerson says 'too early' for direct United States talks with North Korea

Pence's decision comes at a time of increasing rapprochement between Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) leadership and South Korean president Moon Jae-In, after DPRK senior advisor Kim Yo-Jong invited Moon for further talk on the sidelines of the 2018 Winter Olympics, now being held in PyeongChang, South Korea.

In an interview with the Washington Post, Pence reportedly hinted at the possibility of the U.S. holding talks with the North, by stating if the North wants to talk, the USA will talk. Pence told reports that the U.S. will not suspend its economic sanctions against Pyongyang until they do a significant thing that both Seoul and Washington will perceive to be a significant step towards achieving a common goal of a fully denuclearized Korean peninsula.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) was not happy that Vice President Mike Pence refused to clap for North Korea at the Olympic Opening Ceremony on Friday.

Pence was widely seen as having been outplayed by a "charm offensive" by the North Korean delegation, which included North Korea leader Kim Jong Un's sister Kim Yo Jong.

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Speaking to reporters on his flight home on Saturday, Pence said the United States, South Korea and Japan were in complete agreement on isolating North Korea over its nuclear weapons program.

If the USA wants to "browbeat" North Korea over human rights, its efforts have already proven "in vain", the mission said.

Pence warned the North of USA military capabilities.

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.

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On the sidelines of his trip to South Korea, where the Winter Olympics are being held, Pence held multiple conversations with South Korean President Moon Jae-In and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Pence told the Axios news outlet in an interview the United States would continue to intensify diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea and that the sanctions would not be lifted until it abandoned its weapons programs.

Pence is said to have expressed the United States' strong commitment to its alliance with these countries as they continue to fight North Korean aggression. "I didn't believe it was proper for the United States of America to give any countenance or attention in that forum to someone who is not merely the sister of the dictator, but is the leader of the propaganda effort".

The idea on meeting with North Korea has been rejected by Washington for months, as the New York Times reported.

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Pence also brought on his visit to the Olympics Fred Warmbier, the father of an American college student who died after being tortured and abused in a North Korean detention center. It was widely interpreted as the USA easing conditions for talks after insisting the North first show a commitment to denuclearize.

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