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North Korea cancelled meeting with Mike Pence

North Korea made a last minute cancellation to a meeting with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence at the Winter Games, Pence’s office said on Feb. 20. Pence was scheduled to meet with Pyongyang officials, including Kim Jong Un’s sister, on Feb. 10, a day after the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony. But according to officials, North Korea cancelled 2 hours before the meeting was set to start. In the days before, Pence had just condemned North Korean human rights abuses and announced plans for new sanctions. After the cancelled meeting, U.S. officials issued a statement. “This administration will stand in the way of Kim’s desire to whitewash their murderous regime with nice photo ops at the Olympics. Perhaps that’s why they walked away from a meeting or perhaps they were never sincere about sitting down,” Pence‘s chief of staff, Nick Ayers, said in a statement. Signs of a thaw in relations between the two Koreas has sparked speculation of a lead-up to direct talks between Washington and Pyongyang, after months of tension and heated exchanges between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un. North Korea has held off from carrying out any weapons tests since November, when it shot off its largest intercontinental ballistic missile yet. Credit: Reuters