Tags: Trump Administration | mike pence | military | exercise | korean peninsula | olympic games

Pence: Military Exercises on Hold During Olympic Games

By    |   Friday, 09 February 2018 08:56 AM

Military exercises in the Korean peninsula have been delayed until after the 2018 Winter Olympics conclude, but still, all military options are being preserved to protect the United States from North Korean nuclear threats, Vice President Mike Pence said in an interview from South Korea, where he is attending the 2018 Olympic Games' Opening Ceremonies.

"We're going to continue to put all the pressure to bear economically and diplomatically, while preserving all of our military options to see that that happens," Pence told NBC News' Lester Holt, according to a brief excerpt of the interview shown on NBC's "Today" show Friday morning. 

Meanwhile, "President [Donald] Trump and our allies in the region have agreed to delay our military exercises until after the Olympics," said Pence. "We're going to make it crystal clear, our military, and the Japanese self-defense forces, our allies here, all our allies are prepared to defend our nations and to take what action is necessary to defend our homeland."

Pence has met with Moon and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. However, he has said there the Olympics should not be used as an opener for any substantive talks unless North Korea agrees to put its nuclear program up for discussion during negotiations.

He told Holt that Moon appreciated the offer to delay the military exercises.

Pence's full interview with Holt is to run on NBC News Friday night before the network airs its recorded coverage of the Opening Ceremonies, which are already underway.

Pence is attending the ceremonies with Fred Warmbier, whose son, Otto, who died of extensive brain damage upon his return to the United States from a North Korean jail. Warmbier and his wife also attended the State of the Union as guests of President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump.

Meanwhile, CNN early Friday morning reported that Pence and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister, Kim Yo-jong, were seated within feet of each other, but not in the same viewing box, at the Opening Ceremonies now underway in Pyeongchang..

According to the BBC, Kim Yo-jong is the first immediate member of North Korea's ruling family to visit South Korea since the 1950-1953 Korean War. She is attending the ceremonies with Kim Yong-nam, North Korea's ceremonial head of state.

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Vice President Mike Pence said military exercises in the Korean peninsula have been delayed until after the 2018 Winter Olympics conclude, but still, all military options are being preserved to protect the United States from North Korean nuclear threats.
mike pence, military, exercise, korean peninsula, olympic games
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2018-56-09
Friday, 09 February 2018 08:56 AM
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