U.S. officials say Mike Pence had planned to meet with North Korean officials earlier this month - but claim the North Koreans cancelled at the last minute.
Pence did not interact with the North Koreans even though he was seated in the same box as them at the opening ceremony of the Games earlier this month - nor did he shake hands with the North's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam during an earlier leaders' reception.
There was no indication that a meeting had indeed been planned - and then canceled on short notice - until Tuesday, more than a week after Pence returned to the United States.
In any event, "North Korea watchers [were] quite skeptical" that Pence's attendance at the Olympics would "lead to any significant breakthroughs", said Susan Glasser, Politico's chief global affairs columnist, on February 16.
Mr Pence met with defectors, visited monuments to South Koreans killed by North Korea and brought as his guest the father of Otto...More news: Florida House aide fired after claiming Florida shooting survivors are 'actors'
The US state department said: "We will not apologise for American values, for calling attention to human rights abuses".
Mr. Pence, who led the US delegation to the Pyeongchang Olympics, had forcefully confronted North Korea's nuclear ambitions during stops in Japan and South Korea. "Perhaps that's why they walked away from a meeting or perhaps they were never honest about sitting down", Ayers said in the statement.
"Perhaps that's why they walked away from a meeting or perhaps they were never honest about sitting down".
"At the last minute, DPRK officials decided not to go forward with the meeting".
"The point is, no pressure comes off until they are actually doing something that the alliance believes represents a meaningful step toward denuclearization", Pence told Rogin.
Vice President Mike Pence, bottom, watches the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea on February 9, 2018.More news: U.S. intelligence tags Duterte a 'threat to democracy, human rights'
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Kim Jong Un's increasingly influential sister has become one of his closest confidantes in a country where power has always been a family affair.
The cancellation also came as Kim Jong Un, through his sister, invited South Korean President Moon Jae-in to Pyongyang to begin talks "soon"- a development that would be likely to cause consternation in Washington, where the Trump administration has been leading a campaign to put "maximum pressure" on the Kim regime to give up its nuclear program. This has, despite Trump's "little rocket man" jibes at Kim's expense, prompted speculation about dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang.
"We're not using a carrot to convince them to talk", Mr. Tillerson said in a recent interview with "60 Minutes."
"He also made clear that until they agreed to complete denuclearisation we weren't going to change any of our positions or negotiate".More news: Nawaz Sharif disqualified as Pakistan Muslim League president by SC