Pence raises prospect of talks between US, North Korea

Postado Fevereiro 15, 2018

North Korea's participation has triggered a burst of reconciliation with South Korea, including a visit by Kim Jong Un's sister Kim Yo Jong and an invitation to Pyongyang for South Korean leader Moon Jae-in.

Speaking to the Washington Post aboard Air Force Two on his way home from the Winter Olympics in South Korea, Mr Pence said Washington would keep up its "maximum pressure campaign" against Pyongyang, but would be open to possible talks at the same time.

However, South Korea's main opposition party warned that any talks between the two Koreas where the scrapping of North Korea's nuclear program was not a precondition would only "benefit the enemy".

North Korea's main economic lifeline China, believed to hold some degree of influence over it, has also called on Washington and Pyongyang to engage in dialogue for the sake of peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

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.

Officials have since said the administration has discussed the possibility of preventative strikes to press North Korea to give up its weapons programme, raising fears of a catastrophic new Korean War.

The atmospherics were great as Kim Jong-un's sister, Kim Yo Jong, was the cynosure of all eyes at the Winter Olympics in South Korea's Pyeongchang.

The North is as adamant that it will not give up its nuclear programme as the U.S. is that talks can not take place unless the weapons are scrapped.

During her three-day visit, Ms Kim fascinated South Koreans with her relaxed manner and gentle smile, and was touted by global media for scoring a diplomatic gold.

"I think it is different from the last 20years", Pence said.

The United States' "fundamental policy" aimed at denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula has not changed, said a senior Japanese diplomat in a briefing to lawmakers.

Pence told Axios that regardless of the North-South talks, there was "no daylight" between the allies on the need to intensify pressure on Pyongyang.

According to KCNA, the leader received a report from the orchestra about the atmosphere during their performances and said he was pleased that "the fellow countrymen in the South, including President Moon Jae-in and his wife expressed satisfaction over the performances".

After months of rebuffing invitations from South Korea to attend the Olympics, Kim did an about-face in a New Year speech. We have said, from the diplomatic side, we are ready to talk any time North Korea would like to talk.