Pence raises prospect of talks with North Korea alongside ‘intensified’ pressure

Pence said the US and South Korea had agreed on terms for further diplomatic engagement with North Korea

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Comments by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence suggest the United States may be looking more favorably at diplomatic engagement with North Korea as South Korea considers a rare summit with its neighbor and long-time foe.

Pence said in a newspaper interview the United States and South Korea had agreed on terms for further diplomatic engagement with North Korea, first with Seoul and then possibly leading to direct talks with Washington.

The prospect of talks comes after months of tension between Pyongyang, Seoul and Washington over North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, with U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un trading insults and threats of destruction amid tightening sanctions from the United Nations.

Speaking to the Washington Post aboard Air Force Two on his way home from the Games, Pence said Washington would keep up its “maximum pressure campaign” against Pyongyang but would be open to possible talks at the same time.

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