North Korea Cancelled Meeting With Mike Pence

However, it remains to be seen whether Moon will accept the proposal as he stressed last weekend the North should also engage in dialogue with the US - a prospect that could become less likely when allied military drills resume.

North Korea pulled out of what would have been the highest-level meeting with United States officials in nearly two decades less than two hours before it was scheduled to start, White House officials have revealed. Mr. Trump also dismissed Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson's suggestions of dialogue with the North as premature or a waste of time.

Cyber attacks linked by experts to North Korea have targeted aerospace, telecommunications and financial companies in recent years, disrupting networks and businesses around the world.

"Only when denuclearization moves forward can inter-Korean relations move forward", said Kang, adding Washington's role is "very important" in bringing North Korea to abandon its nuclear ambitions.

"The president made a decision that if they wanted to talk, we would deliver our uncompromising message", Mr. Ayers said. "We're using large sticks".

The vice president's office also spun the cancelled meeting as a win for the administration. The United States and North Korea are locked in a struggle over who controls the narrative on human rights abuses in the reclusive regime, for which neither will win, but many will lose. However, South Korea's president Moon Jae-in believes the Games to be vital in his effort to communicate with North Korea, to persuade the country into negotiations, and to put the North's nuclear missile program to rest. But the North Koreans pulled out, citing new sanctions the US announced before Pence's arrival in South Korea, according to the official.

Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, is pregnant with her second child and revealed this to South Korean officials during her visit to Seoul earlier this month, local media reported Tuesday.

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That seemed to contradict North Korea's own claim that it had no interest in meeting with Pence while he was in Pyeongchang.

South Korea's Blue House, when contacted for comment by NK News, declined to comment on the canceled meeting.

Pyongyang has agreed to send a 150-member delegation of athletes, cheerleaders, an art troupe and reporters to the PyeongChang Winter Paralympics, reports said.

The State Department said that Pence had been "ready to take this opportunity" but would have used it to insist Pyongyang abandon its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

"Following a comprehensive assessment, the government of Japan strongly suspects that they conducted ship-to-ship transfers banned" by the UN Security Council resolutions, said the ministry.

Four Chinese characters, reading "Min Ning De You 078" - meaning "Fujian Province, Ningde City, oil tanker 078" in English - were on the small vessel, it said.

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