US officials said Vice President Mike Pence had earlier been scheduled to meet with officials from North Korea earlier this month but North Korea canceled the meeting at the last minute.
The meeting was scheduled for February 10, during a visit by the Pence to South Korea to attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang held a day earlier.
Pence was originally scheduled to held talks with Kim Yo-jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, and Kim Yong-nam, head of North Korean regime's government. Both North Korean figures led the North Korean delegation to the opening ceremony. According to The Washington Post, the meeting is scheduled to take place in the Blue House, the residence of the president of South Korea.
Ministry spokesman US Foreign Secretary Heather Nauert said Pence was ready to use the opportunity to urge North Korea to abandon its ballistic and nuclear missile programs. However, Nauert said North Korean government officials canceled the meeting ahead of its implementation.
The administration of President Donald Trump initially denied any meeting between Pence and some North Korean officials ahead of the Pence trip. But The Washington Post, based on information from a White House official, said the meeting was scheduled after the CIA was informed that North Korea wants to meet the US vice-president during a visit to the Korean Peninsula. [ab/uh]