ABC News(WASHINGTON) — The United States is not seeking to negotiate with North Korea and it is not in direct talks “at this time” with the rogue Asian nation, Vice President Mike Pence told CNN and the Washington Post Wednesday.
“I think the path of negotiations with North Korea has been a colossal failure now for more than 25 years,” Pence told the Washington Post. “We believe that through discussions and negotiations among nations apart from North Korea that we may well be able to bring the kind of economic and diplomatic pressure that would result in North Korea finally abandoning its nuclear ambitions and its ballistic missile program.”
In a separate interview with CNN, the vice president said that “the only thing we need to hear from North Korea is that they are ending and ultimately dismantling their nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles program.
During last year’s presidential campaign, President Donald Trump said he’d be willing to speak with Kim Jong Un, but when asked Wednesday if there would be any direct negotiations Pence said “not at this time.”
Tensions between the two nations have been fraught throughout Trump’s presidency of almost three months. In that time span, North Korea has engaged in at least five missile tests, the most recent of which resulted in failure this past weekend.
Pence made a surprise visit to the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Korea Monday where he declared the “era of strategic patience” with North Korea to be over.
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