Washington D.C. USA
North Korea is not willing to meet with the US officials during the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang that are scheduled to start on Friday.
South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported Thursday that North Korean officials said they “don’t have a willingness” to meet with the U.S. delegation, led by Pence, during the Olympics.
“We have never begged for dialogue with the U.S. and [it] will be the same in the future,” North Korean official representing the country’s foreign minister Cho Yong-Sam said.
“We clearly state that we don’t have a willingness to meet with the U.S. side during our visit to South Korea,” according to the report.
US Vice President Mike Pence will lead the U.S. delegation for the February 9-25 Winter Olympics.
On Tuesday, the State Department said that the US has no plans to meet with North Korean officials on the fringe of the Olympics.
Pence was earlier quoted as saying that the US “will not allow North Korean propaganda to hijack the message and imagery of the Olympic Games.”
“My message – whatever the setting, whoever is present – will be the same,” Pence said Tuesday. “And that is that North Korea must once and for all abandon its nuclear weapons program and ballistic missile ambitions,” the Hill quoted Pence, as saying before his departure for South Korea.
The US and North Korea have long been engaged in back-and-forth barbs over the latter’s threat of a nuclear attack.
Trump threatened to rain “fire and fury” on North Korea and also called Kim Jong-un as “Little Rocket Man”, while North Korea denounced Trump as a “mentally deranged U.S. dotard.”