N Korea says no US talks planned at Olympics, Pence vows continued pressure

North Korea has no intention of meeting U.S. officials during the Winter Olympics that start in South Korea on Friday, state media said, dampening hopes the Games will help resolve a tense standoff over the North’s nuclear weapons program. However, the North’s high-ranking delegation, including the younger sister of its leader Kim Jong Un, will meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in and have lunch with him on Saturday. Such a meeting would be the first such event between a South Korean head of state and a member of the Kim family since a 2007 summit meeting of Kim Jong Il and late South Korean president Roh Moo-hyun. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who has described North Korea as the world’s most tyrannical regime, spoke with Moon on Thursday ahead of the opening ceremony in the mountain resort of Pyeongchang, just 80 km (50 miles) from the heavily armed border with the reclusive North. Friday’s ceremony will be attended by North Korea’s delegation, including its nominal head of state, Kim Yong Nam. Kim Yo Jong, the sister of the North’s leader, and her entourage, will travel by private jet to Seoul’s Incheon International Airport on Friday, North Korea told the South. “We have never begged for dialogue with the U.S. nor in the future, too,” the North’s KCNA news agency said, citing Jo Yong Sam, a director-general in the North’s foreign ministry. “Explicitly speaking, we have no intention to meet with the U.S. side during the stay in South Korea …… [Read full story]

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