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Secret meeting between Pence and North Koreans at Olympics was canceled abruptly

  • A secret meeting between Vice President Mike Pence and North Korean leaders at the Olympics was canceled abruptly earlier this month, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.
  • Pyongyang was reportedly upset by the new sanctions as well as continued criticism of its nuclear ambitions.

A secret meeting between Vice President Mike Pence and North Korean leaders at the Olympics was canceled abruptly earlier this month, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

The Post said Pence, who led the U.S. delegation at the opening ceremonies to the Olympics Feb. 9, "agreed to a secret meeting" at the games in South Korea. He was set to meet with Kim Yo Jong, the younger sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, as well as the nominal head of state of the regime, Kim Yong Nam.

The vice president's office on Tuesday evening confirmed that North Korea had "dangled a meeting" as part of its charm offensive at the Winter Games.

"North Korea dangled a meeting in hopes of the Vice President softening his message which would have ceded the world stage for their propaganda during the Olympics," said Nick Ayers, the vice president's chief of staff.

The Post reported that the regime canceled the meeting because it was upset that Pence announced new sanctions and continued to denounce Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions during his trip. Ayers said that President Donald Trump had decided that the U.S. would stick to its "uncompromising message" if the North Koreans wanted to talk.

"If they asked for a meeting, we would meet. He also made clear that until they agreed to complete denuclearization we weren't going to change any of our positions or negotiate," Ayers said.

The Post reported that the meeting with the North Koreans was arranged after the CIA was tipped off that the North Koreans hoped to meet the vice president when he visited the Korean Peninsula. It also said the South Koreans acted as an intermediary to arrange the meeting.

Read the full story in The Washington Post.