Vice President Mike Pence has just screwed up with North Korea big time, following in his boss’s footsteps.
In a bold move, North Korea accused Pence of trying to interrupt the very fragile peace talks between North Korea and South Korea by politicizing the Winter Olympic Games. Recently, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) was deeply critical as it pointed to a January Newsweek article which stated that Trump was sending Pence to the Olympic games in South Korean city Pyeongchang. A White House official had stated that Pence was going to support Team USA, and to prevent North Korean leader Kim Jong Un from trying to “hijack the messaging around the Olympics.” In response to this, the KCNA called the Olympics “a great event of the homogenous nation” that was being intentionally sabotaged by the Trump administration.
Using North Korea’s full title, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the KCNA wrote in an article titled “KCNA Commentary Hits U.S. Scheme to Turn Olympiad into Confrontation Theater”:
“This is aimed to check the trend for improved inter-Korean ties that has gained momentum thanks to the DPRK’s bold and proactive efforts, and to drive a wedge among the Koreans.
On the eve of the Olympics the U.S. is unhesitatingly committing acts of insulting the sincerity made by the DPRK and ruining the Olympics by rendering the political and military threats toward the DPRK to the extremes, and dispatching strategic assets including nuclear carrier and special units.”
Jong Un had recently reached out to South Korea in a New Year’s speech in an attempt to extend peace – an initiative that president Trump took credit for even though Jong Un insisted it was an independent gesture. And now it’s clear that the rogue nation believes that the U.S. is trying to interfere with the peace talks.
In its article, the KCNA ignored a White House official’s remarks that Pence would not turn his Olympics visit into “two weeks of propaganda.” Clearly, no country has trust in the U.S. anymore. The KCNA continued:
“It is quite natural that the international community is concerned about what the U.S. vice-president is going to do targeting the DPRK at the Winter Olympics. The U.S. should not run amuck. It will invite international isolation as it fails to face up to the trend of the times.”
The Trump administration’s presence in South Korea is not welcome and is being viewed as a less than genuine move. But as Trump loves to keep pushing the buttons with other countries – especially North Korea, we don’t expect Trump and Pence to back down.
Featured image via Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images