North Korea has no intention to meet US officials during the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in the South, Pyongyang’s state media said Thursday.
The nuclear-armed North is on an Olympics-linked publicity drive — sending a troupe of performers, hundreds of female cheerleaders, and the sister of leader Kim Jong Un to the South.
“We have no intention whatsoever to meet US authorities during our visit to the South,” Cho Yong Sam, a senior foreign ministry official, was quoted as saying by the North’s official KCNA news agency.
“We have never begged for dialogue with the US and will never do so,” he said.
But his comments did not rule out a meeting — and nor has US Vice President Mike Pence, who is due in the South on Thursday.
Pence has lambasted the North on Wednesday, announcing in Tokyo that the US would impose its toughest sanctions to date on the regime.
The US “will not allow North Korean propaganda to hijack the message and imagery of the Olympic Games”.
But on his way to Asia, he left open the possibility of meeting any of Pyongyang’s representatives.
“I have not requested a meeting, but we’ll see what happens,” he said.