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North Korea backed out of meeting with Vice President Pence at last minute

NHK reported at noon that State Department Spokesperson Nauert told reporters on Tuesday that although Vice President Pence was scheduled to meet with North Korean delegation leaders on the sidelines of the PyeongChang Olympics, the meeting was cancelled at the last minute by North Korea. Nauert was quoted as saying: “Although the Vice President’s side was ready to meet, the North Korean side decided not to go forward with the meeting.” According to the network, a senior White House official said: “We have been clear that we will not allow North Korea to hide its brutality under the amicable atmosphere of the Olympics. This is probably why North Korea cancelled the meeting.” The network added that Vice President Pence met with North Korean defectors and visited a memorial to a South Korean Navy vessel that was sunk by North Korea.

 

TV Asahi and TBS reported on a Washington Post article saying that although the Vice President was supposed to meet with the North Korean delegation at the Blue House on the afternoon of Feb. 10, the North Korean side cancelled the meeting only two hours before, presumably in response to Vice President Pence’s announcement while in Japan that the U.S. is ready to  impose additional sanctions, his meeting with North Korean defectors in South Korea, and his ignoring the North Korean delegation members during the Olympics reception and opening ceremony.

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