WP: US Vice President Says US Ready to Talk with N. Korea

Write : 2018-02-12 14:59:01 Update : 2018-02-12 16:47:33

WP: US Vice President Says US Ready to Talk with N. Korea

A U.S. daily says Vice President Mike Pence hinted at the possibility of Washington holding dialogue with North Korea, saying the U.S. is ready for such talks.

Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin said on Sunday that Pence made the suggestion during an interview aboard Air Force Two on his way home from the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games. 

Pence said an understanding had been reached with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on terms for further engagement with North Korea.  

Over two substantive conversations during his trip to South Korea, Pence said he and Moon agreed further engagement would first be initiated with South Korea, and "potentially with the United States soon thereafter." 

Rogin said that the proposed diplomatic path signifies that the U.S. and its allies will not stop imposing pressure on Pyongyang until it takes clear steps toward denuclearization but the Trump administration is willing to sit down and talk with the regime while that pressure campaign is ongoing.

Pence reportedly said the U.S. would pursue “maximum pressure and engagement at the same time.”  

Rogin noted this marked an important change from the previous U.S. position, "which was to build maximum pressure until Pyongyang made real concessions and only then to engage directly with the regime."

The South Korean leader is said to have assured Pence he would clearly tell Pyongyang it would not get economic or diplomatic benefits "for just talking" and "only concrete steps toward denuclearization" could reap such benefits.  

Based on that assurance, Pence told Rogin he felt confident he could endorse post-Olympic engagement with the North.

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