U.S. and Japan agree to maintain pressure on N. Korea over nuclear programs

미일, 북한 비핵화를 위한 압박에 한목소리 내
When it comes to North Korea, it would appear that there are some new diplomatic opportunities now that the North is participating in the Winter Olympics.
But many world leaders... are standing firm that the regime still needs to feel maximum pressure to denuclearize.
President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have agreed to continue that pressure until they see a result.
Park Hee-jun has the details.
In a phone conversation Wednesday,... U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed to continue putting maximum pressure on North Korea until it agrees to give up its nuclear program.
During the hour-long conversation, they also discussed the importance of joint military exercises by the U.S. and South Korea, which are scheduled to start in April... once the Olympics are over.

And on the same day,... U.S. Vice President Mike Pence made similar remarks concerning North Korea.
Speaking with Axios,... an online news outlet,... he said the United States is open to talks with North Korea,... but only if it abandons its nuclear ambitions.
Pence said the U.S. will continue to intensify its sanctions on the regime... and will not lift them until the North starts that process.

"North Korea must completely, verifiably, and permanently abandon its nuclear weapons program and its ballistic missile programs. And when that commences, then and only then, can we consider any change in posture by the United States and the international community.

He also explained why he did not confront North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's sister Kim Yo-jong at the Winter Olympics opening ceremony.

"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 as the leader of the propaganda effort."

Pence said another reason he ignored the sister was the regime's violations of human rights, such as its political prisons... and Kim Jong-un's killing of his relatives.

Park Hee-jun, Arirang News.

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