Ignoring Calls for Peace, Pence Refuses to Engage With North Koreans at Olympics

(COMMONDREAMS) — Despite global calls for #KoreanPeace and hopes that U.S. Vice President Mike Pence would use his trip to South Korea for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games to engage in diplomatic talks to ease rising tensions with North Korea, Pence remained icy toward the country’s delegation.

As he left the Olympics on Saturday, Pence told reporters aboard Air Force Two that he was “encouraged” by his talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, and claimed “there is no daylight between the United States, the Republic of Korea, and Japan on the need to continue to isolate North Korea economically and diplomatically until they abandon their nuclear ballistic missile program”—despite the radically different approaches Pence and Moon took regarding North Korea’s presence at the games.

While Moon both met and attended events with Kim Yo Jong—the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and a key representative for the country at the Olympics—Pence declined to acknowledge her, even when they were seated near to each other:

Pence’s blatant refusal to engage in diplomacy came as a clear rejection of demands from around the globe that he use his presence at the Olympics to de-escalate nuclear tensions that have ramped up since President Donald Trump took office. Pence instead reiterated messages the world has come to expect from the Trump administration on the topic of North Korea; he vowed to impose the “toughest and most aggressive” economic sanctions “ever,” insisted the country was trying to “hijack the message and imagery” of the games, and stayed seated as the joint team of athletes from the two Koreas entered the Opening Ceremony on Friday.

The vice president’s behavior at the Olympics garnered criticism on social media, but did not stop the calls for #KoreanPeace and a permanent #OlympicTruce.

By Jessica Corbett / Creative Commons / Common Dreams / Report a typo

This article was chosen for republication based on the interest of our readers. Anti-Media republishes stories from a number of other independent news sources. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect Anti-Media editorial policy.

Since you’re here…

…We have a small favor to ask. Fewer and fewer people are seeing Anti-Media articles as social media sites crack down on us, and advertising revenues across the board are quickly declining. However, unlike many news organizations, we haven’t put up a paywall because we value open and accessible journalism over profit — but at this point, we’re barely even breaking even. Hopefully, you can see why we need to ask for your help. Anti-Media’s independent journalism and analysis takes substantial time, resources, and effort to produce, but we do it because we believe in our message and hope you do, too.

If everyone who reads our reporting and finds value in it helps fund it, our future can be much more secure. For as little as $1 and a minute of your time, you can support Anti-Media. Thank you. Click here to support us

    7

COMMENTS

4

You must be logged in to post a comment.