North Korea’s state media on Wednesday slammed US Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, following US reports that Pyongyang had canceled a secret meeting with Pence at the last minute.
The North’s Rodong Sinmun daily criticized Pence and Japanese leader Shinzo Abe’s visit to Pyeongchang in South Korea as a “disgusting, confrontational display to ruin the improvement of inter-Korean relations and fulfill its ambition to suppress the DPRK.”
Remarking on Pence’s meeting with North Korean defectors and a visit to Cheonan Memorial Hall, the North Korean newspaper said the US vice president had “slandered away at the North’s highly esteemed state system with unspeakable insults” and “instigated anti-DPRK controversy among the South Korean conservatives.”
Rodong Sinmun also ridiculed Pence’s meeting with South Korean officials. “He only unloaded confrontational verbal abuse full of lunacy such as ‘abandoning nuclear weapons’ and ‘maximum pressure’ — unsuited to the mood of the Olympics,” it said.
US press reports said on Tuesday that Pence had intended to hold hush-hush discussions with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s sister, Kim Yo-jong, on February 10, during the Olympic events. A US official was quoted as saying the North called off the meeting two hours before it was set to start.
President Donald Trump had reportedly approved the meeting, with the caveat that the US wouldn’t back off its previous demand that Pyongyang abandon its nuclear weapons program.