North Korea says no plans to meet U.S. officials at Olympics
North Korea has no intention of meeting U.S officials during the Winter Olympics that start on Friday, the KCNA news agency reported, dampening hopes the Games will help resolve a tense standoff over the North’s nuclear weapons program, APA reports quoting Reuters.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who described North Korea as the world’s most tyrannical regime on Wednesday, flies in to South Korea on Thursday ahead of the opening ceremony in the mountain resort of Pyeongchang, just 80 km (50 miles) from the heavily armed border with North Korea.
The ceremony will also be attended by a senior delegation of North Korean officials, including the younger sister of leader Kim Jong Un and the North’s nominal head of state, Kim Yong Nam.
(For a graphic on North Korea’s Olympic delegations click tmsnrt.rs/2E1Qa9Q)
“We have never begged for dialogue with the United States and it will be the same going forward,” KCNA reported on Thursday, citing Cho Yong Sam, director-general of the North American department of North Korea’s foreign ministry.
“To be clear, we have no intention of meeting with the U.S. during our visit to South Korea”, and no plans to use the Winter Olympics as a political vehicle, Cho said.
South Korea wants to use the event to re-engage with North Korea and open the way for talks to resolve one of the world’s most dangerous crises, in which U.S. President Donald Trump and Pyongyang have swapped nuclear threats.
Speaking after meeting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo on his way to South Korea, Pence said Washington would soon unveil “the toughest and most aggressive round of economic sanctions on North Korea ever”.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the sanctions would be unveiled “in the coming weeks” and urged all countries to fully implement existing U.N. sanctions and to back the U.S. pressure campaign by expelling North Korean “financial facilitators and trade reps”.
Related news releases
- 21.02.2018North Korea cancelled talks with US Vice President at Winter Olympics
- 21.02.2018Talks between Erbil, Baghdad reach final stages: PM
- 20.02.2018Russian Center for Syrian Reconciliation comes under massive fire
- 20.02.2018Palestine ready to exchange minor territories with Israel - Abbas
- 20.02.2018Turkish President: Syrian forces tried to enter Afrin, retreated after Turkey's shelling
- 20.02.2018YPG/PKK-Daesh terror groups shell Turkey's south Hatay
- 20.02.2018Maldives leader seeks approval to extend state of emergency
- 19.02.2018Three Iranian police killed in clashes with Sufi protesters
- 19.02.2018Islamic State kills 27 Iraqi militiamen near Kirkuk
- 19.02.2018Israel, Egypt sign $15bn natural gas purchase agreement
- 19.02.2018Kurdish region flight ban to be lifted soon: Iraqi PM
- 18.02.2018Daesh doesn’t represent Islam: Iraqi PM
- 18.02.20182 Turkish soldiers martyred, one injured in operations
- 17.02.2018Turkish, Iraqi PMs stress cooperation against terrorism
- 17.02.20184 Israeli troops injured by explosive device near Gaza
- 17.02.2018Turkish PM: 'We have given terrorist organizations the Ottoman slap'
- 16.02.2018PYD/PKK terrorist admits to posing as civilian
- 16.02.20187 Turkish soldiers injured in Operation Olive Branch
- 15.02.2018Indonesia charges Daesh-linked group for deadly bombing
- 15.02.2018Lebanese PM rule out Hezbollah alliance in May election
- 15.02.2018US secretary of state meets with Jordan king in Amman
- 14.02.2018Knesset rejects bill recognizing so-called Armenian Genocide
- 14.02.2018No cases of human infection with H5N6 bird flu reported in Iran – official
- 14.02.2018Over 20 undocumented migrants held in Turkey
- 14.02.2018Turkey's president speaks to Saudi counterpart
- 14.02.2018Taliban confirms senior leader killed by US air strike
- 14.02.2018İraqi Turkmen Front officer attacked in Kirkuk
- 13.02.2018Cyclone wreaks havoc in Tonga's capital, parliament flattened, homes wrecked
- 13.02.2018Russians killed in clash with U.S.-led forces in Syria, say associates
- 12.02.2018Israel's Netanyahu says discussing settlement annexation with U.S.
- 11.02.2018Netanyahu speaks to Russia’s Putin about Iran
- 11.02.2018Putin Urges Netanyahu to Avoid Escalation in Syria
- 10.02.201811 Turkish soldiers killed, 11 injured in Afrin - UPDATED
- 10.02.2018Hundreds protesting in Seoul against N. Korea's participation in Olympic
- 10.02.201815 PYD/PKK, Daesh terrorists neutralized in Afrin
- 10.02.2018Hong Kong bus overturns killing 18
- 10.02.201848 Daesh-linked suspects arrested across Turkey
- 10.02.201827 reported dead in bus crash in Indonesia
- 10.02.20182 Turkish pilots martyred in Syria helicopter crash
- 10.02.2018Turkish military, Free Syrian Army free another village
- 08.02.2018Turkish, Iranian, Russian leaders to meet in Istanbul for Syria
- 08.02.2018Turkish, Iranian presidents have telephone conversation
- 08.02.2018Erdogan, Rouhani hail increased cooperation on security - UPDATED
- 08.02.2018Aftershocks rattle Taiwan as quake toll rises to nine, 62 missing
- 08.02.2018Turkey captures PYD/PKK tunnel network in NW Syria
- 07.02.20182 killed, 188 injured in Taiwan earthquake - UPDATED