Pence leaves door open for meeting with North Korean officials in PyeongChang

펜스 미부통령, 트럼프 면담후 출국…한•일 방문
Heading the U.S. delegation for the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics,... U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.
Making his way to Asia,... Pence cemented the Trump administration's strong-stance once again,... that Washington will keep maximum pressure on North Korea.
However,... at the same time,... he did not rule out the possibility of meeting with some of the regime's officials while he's in the South.
Kwon Jang-ho reports.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has left the door open for a possible meeting with North Korean officials during his visit to South Korea this week.
Speaking to the press on a stop at an Alaskan military base before he heads to Asia, he said he'll see what happens, but stressed that there has been no change to the U.S. stance on North Korea.

"But my message, whatever the setting, whoever is present, will be the same. And that is that North Korea must once and for all abandon its nuclear weapons programme and ballistic missile ambitions.

This comes after the White House stressed that his role in Pyeongchang will not be just ceremonial.
Despite South Korea reaching out to the North to take part in the Games, White House officials have said the Vice President will make sure that the regime does not "hijack" the sporting event for its own propaganda purposes, and that he will take every chance to "highlight the reality of what is happening in North Korea."
This point will be driven home as Pence will be accompanied by Fred Warmbier, the father of Otto Warmbier, the U.S. student who died last year shortly after being released from North Korean captivity.
He is also said to be arranging a meeting with North Korean defectors during his two-day visit.

Whether this will deter any interaction with the North Korean Olympic delegation is unclear.
With the two countries positions still so far apart, serious sit-down talks are highly unlikely, but with such high-level officials attending, it does offer a rare opportunity for some communication, if only in passing.

"There is a possibility that South Korean President Moon Jae-in will act as a third party, and facilitate indirect communication between Vice President Pence, and North Korea's ceremonial head of state, Kim Yong-nam, allowing them at least a basic exchange of views."

Kwon Jang-ho, Arirang News.

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