Vice President Mike Pence is purportedly entertaining the idea of the United States engaging in direct talks with North Korea.
During his return to the US aboard Air Force Two following his leading of the US Olympic Delegation in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the Vice President said that the Trump administration would continue its "maximum pressure and engagement at the same time" against the rogue regime. But Pence also noted that direct talks are also possible with Pyongyang, as tensions continue to escalate between the United States and North Korea over it's obstinate proliferation of nuclear weapons.
Exclusive - Pence: The United States is ready to talk with North Korea https://t.co/e1lG2lTWW1 @PostOpinions— Josh Rogin (@Josh Rogin)1518393994.0
"The point is, no pressure comes off until they are actually doing something that the alliance believes represents a meaningful step toward denuclearization," Pence told The Washington Post. "So the maximum pressure campaign is going to continue and intensify. But if you want to talk, we'll talk."
But how realistic are direct talks with North Korea? President Donald Trump and North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-Un have been exchanging evermore aggressive jabs on Twitter, not the least of which includes Trump's tweet about how he has a "much bigger" nuclear button than North Korea.
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone fro… https://t.co/EvTgZxiji0— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1514940559.0
North Korea is also notorious for their human rights abuses, which CNN reported may amount to war crimes.
The UN found that North Korea has committed human rights atrocities so heinous they qualified as crimes against hum… https://t.co/qS6zrQTX6Q— Heritage Foundation (@Heritage Foundation)1518396763.0
Despite heavy sanctions, North Korea has continued to advance its nuclear weapons program. Kim has expressed his desire to be recognized as an equal by the United States. He has also demanded an official end to the Korean War (1950-1953), which never officially ended because there was never a treaty. Instead, a cease-fire has kept the Korean Peninsula at odds for more than 60 years. NBC's Katie Couric received harsh criticism for mistaking this on Sunday, and the network issued an apology.
NBC Forced To Apologize After Katie Couric, Colleagues Insult Entire Nation Of South Korea ... and the Korean War n… https://t.co/cFildcnCSG— @ixoye49 (@@ixoye49)1518458914.0
Direct negotiations with North Korea need to address Pyongyang's abysmal treatment of its people in addition to its unyielding nuclear ambitions.
If the administration is serious about North Korean human rights, there are a number of actions it could take immed… https://t.co/CY3lH2v6nv— Foreign Policy (@Foreign Policy)1518372541.0