- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Vice President Pence said Wednesday that he deliberately ignored North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s sister last week in order to send “a very clear message” during the Winter Olympics opening ceremonies.

Mr. Pence and his wife were photographed standing just a few feet from Kim Yo-jong on Friday amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and the dictatorial regime.

Asked during an Axios event in Washington whether he gave any consideration to greeting Ms. Kim, the vice president responded, “I did not.”

“I didn’t avoid the dictator’s sister, but I did ignore her,” Mr. Pence said. “I didn’t believe it was proper for the United States of America to give any countenance or attention in that forum to someone who’s not merely the sister of the dictator, but is the leader of the propaganda effort.

“You have to remember this is a family that very recently ordered that their brother be murdered using chemical weapons, and the world saw that in horror on airport videos reproduced,” he continued. “This is a regime and a family that also ordered that their uncle be executed with artillery fire in front of a crowd of 10,0000 people, and she’s the leader of the propaganda effort of that government.

“This is evil the likes of which we have witnessed rarely in our time around the world,” he said. “And I wanted to send by my silence a very clear message: that the people of the United States of America know who we’re dealing with, and that we’re going to continue to stand firmly and stand strong with resolve and with our allies until the regime in North Korea ceases to threaten our country and our allies with nuclear and ballistic missiles. And we will continue to hold them to account on their appalling record of abuse of human rights of their own people.”

Mr. Pence shared a video of his remarks from his official vice president’s Twitter account.

During the wide-ranging conversation, the vice president said the U.S. was “open to communicating our policy” with North Korea, but that “nothing will change until the day comes that North Korea permanently abandons its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs and ceases to threaten the United States of America and our allies in the region.”

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