Pence won't rule out NKorea meeting, will 'see what happens'


world
 Pence won't rule out NKorea meeting, will 'see what happens'

    U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen walk upon their arrival at Yokota Air Base on the outskirts of Tokyo, Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018. Vice President Pence's six-day swing through Asia will include a stop at the Winter Olympics in South Korea. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, Pool)North Korea is sending its nominal head of state, Kim Jong Nam — the highest-level visitor to the South from the North in recent memory.

    Pence said his message, if he met any officials from the North, would be the same as it has been in public. "And that is that North Korea must once and for all abandon its nuclear weapons program and ballistic missile ambitions," he said.

    Pence said he aims to ensure North Korea doesn't "hijack" the games as it participates on a joint team with the South, in the view of the White House. He'll hold symbolic events of his own to highlight the North's human rights abuses and nuclear ambitions, according to White House officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to preview the trip publicly.

    "We'll be telling the truth about North Korea at every stop," Pence told reporters after touring missile defense facilities Monday that monitor and could respond to a launch by the North. "We'll be ensuring that whatever cooperation that's existing between North and South Korea today on Olympic teams does not cloud the reality of a regime that must continue to be isolated by the world community."

    In South Korea, Pence will visit a memorial to the 46 South Korean sailors killed in a 2010 torpedo attack attributed to the North, and hold meetings with President Moon Jae-in.

    "Missile defense is essential to our national defense," Pence said before a briefing with U.S. Northern Command at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska. He touted the coming deployment of an additional 20 ground-based interceptors that would respond to an enemy launch.

    Leading the U.S. delegation to the Olympic Opening Ceremonies, Pence will bring to the games Fred Warmbier, the father of Otto Warmbier, the U.S. student who died in 2017 shortly after he was released from North Korean detention.

    "He & his wife remind the world of the atrocities happening in N Korea," Pence tweeted Monday.

    The trip comes after President Donald Trump hosted a group of North Korean defectors in the Oval Office on Friday, including Ji Seong-ho, whom the president referenced in his State of the Union address last week. The White House cast the meeting as part of the Trump administration's "maximum pressure" campaign to counter the North Korean nuclear program. The plan centers around rallying the international community to further isolate North Korea both diplomatically and economically.

    White House officials said Pence was expected to continue to bring attention to North Korea's human rights abuses on the trip, and offer of reminder of grim conditions in North Korea.

    On Sunday, the North Korean government shot back that its nuclear missile program would "deter Trump and his lackeys from showing off on the Korean peninsula."

    "If Trump does not get rid of his anachronistic and dogmatic way of thinking, it will only bring about the consequence of further endangering security and future of the United States," the government said in comments carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency.

    Trump and other senior officials have repeatedly said that time is running out before North Korea gains the capability to strike the U.S. mainland with a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile. The isolated country has proven it can launch missiles of sufficient range, but has yet to develop a vehicle that can withstand the hazards of atmospheric re-entry.

    ___

    Associated Press writers Matthew Pennington and Josh Lederman in Washington contributed to this report.

    By: Associated Press

    « world

  CITIES NEWS
LONDON
DUBAI
BEDMINSTER, New Jersey
SEOUL
TAIPEI
MOSCOW
BERLIN
STOCKHOLM
WASHINGTON
LOS ANGELES
BRASILIA
SILVERSTONE, England
SAYLORSBURG, Pa
AMSTERDAM
BERGERAC, France
KABUL
BARCELONA
PARIS
MOSUL, Iraq
BRUSSELS
DOHA
CAIRO
FRANKFURT
LAUSANNE
  DATE NEWS
2018/09/24
Two Former Kavanaugh Classmates Withdraw Names From Statement Disputing Accuser


2018/09/23
Ed Whelan takes leave of absence from Ethics and Public Policy Center after claim Brett Kavanaugh accuser misidentified alleged attacker


2018/09/22
Kavanaugh accuser wants to talk to Senate; terms up in air


2018/09/21
100 Kegs or Bust: Kavanaugh friend has spent years writing about high school debauchery


2018/09/20
China teams up with Russia to aim for 'desirable world order'


2018/09/19
Ford lawyer: GOP plan for Kavanaugh hearing 'not a fair or good faith investigation'