Who Snubbed Who In Korea? South Korea Is Blaming The U.S.

U.S. Vice President Pence and Kim Yo Jong

Donald Kirk, Daily Beast: Who Snubbed Who in Korea? Was it Pence’s Truculence, or Little Sister Kim’s Reticence?

The Trump administration, finally reacting to the diplomatic snafu at the Winter Olympics, blames the North Koreans. The South Koreans are saying, ‘Not so fast.’

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea—Days after the snub seen round the world, when U.S. Vice President Mike Pence appeared ossified, staring ahead in stony silence at the Winter Olympics rather than glance at the sister of North Korea’s leader, who was standing behind him, the Trump administration has let it be known that, really, the other side balked.

Pence’s trip was widely derided, even by advocates of a hard line toward the North Korean regime, as a major diplomatic fumble. (He also managed to offend his hosts by declining to stand when North and South Korean teams marched under a single flag at the opening ceremony.)

Read more ....

Update: White House: North Korea Cancelled A Meeting With Vice President Pence At The Last Minute (February 21, 2018).

WNU Editor: The number one priority for the administration of South Korean President Moon Jae-in since his election win last year has been to position himself so that he can engage into talks with North Korea. But the problem has always been the same .... the North Koreans regard his government as a puppet of the U.S.. The above Daily Beast article even recognizes this  .... President Moon is still making U.S.-North Korean negotiations a top priority, almost a prerequisite, before he can accept Kim Jong Un’s invitation, delivered to him personally by Yo Jong, to meet in Pyongyang. What is my  take .... President Moon is in a bind. The U.S. is not going to get into a general conversation with the North Korea leadership just to make President Moon feel that this  process will lead to something. The U.S. will only engage when it knows what the outcome will be .... in short .... the diplomats will find common ground that the leadership can agree with .... and then build from there so that the leaders and/or senior officials can meet. But it is not going to happen .... because the problem has always been the same. The #1 goal of  the North Korean leadership has  been the to unify the peninsula under their leadership, and nuclear weapons has always been viewed as an important ingredient for them to achieve that goal. They are not going to bargain that away. It is only when that mindset changes .... that things may change .... and giving the visiting North Korean officials expensive meals is not going to achieve that .... It cost US$260 per meal to feed North Korean special guests, including Kim Jong-un’s sister during Olympics visit (SCMP).

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