North Korea: US criticism of its rights shows fear of nukes

This image shows U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and the North Korean leader's sister Kim Yo-jong

This image shows U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and the North Korean leader's sister Kim Yo-jong

But he also indicated the need to make the North understand this policy.

The remarks hint that the USA may engage in talks with North Korea without preconditions if necessary, while continuing its pressure and sanctions. "All our allies agree!"

President Trump has at times suggested talks were possible, but conditioned them on North Korea totally disarming beforehand.

North and South Korea are heading towards further engagement on the peace process as Pyeongchang Winter Olympics eased the tension between the two countries. It comes as Pyongyang has proposed a rare inter-Korean summit with President Moon Jae-in through Kim Yo-jong, younger sister and special envoy of the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Pence's decision comes at a time of increasing rapprochement between Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) leadership and South Korean president Moon Jae-In, after DPRK senior advisor Kim Yo-Jong invited Moon for further talk on the sidelines of the 2018 Winter Olympics, now being held in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Pence was quoted by the newspaper as saying that "the maximum pressure campaign is going to continue and intensify".

Pence was quoted in the Washington Post on Sunday as saying the United States and South Korea had agreed terms for future diplomatic engagement with North Korea. "They know what has to be on the table for conversations", Tillerson stated in a press conference in Egypt.

"We've said for some time it's really up to the North Koreans to decide when they're ready to engage with us in a honest way, a meaningful way", he said.

Cavey added, "We support President Moon's call for dialogue between the United States and North Korea, which must include the denuclearization of the peninsula".

But he said the White House was willing to "sit down and talk with the regime while that pressure campaign is ongoing".

Meanwhile, global Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach told the South and the North Korean players on the joint women's ice hockey team that they should be proud despite the big loss to Switzerland in the opening game, his spokesman said on Sunday.

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