Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson made strikingly similar remarks on Monday during a visit to Peru. “With respect to the vice president’s trip to the Olympics and whether or not there would be an opportunity for any kind of a meeting with North Korea, I think we’ll just see,” Mr. Tillerson said.
In a diplomatic breakthrough, the two Koreas agreed to march together in the opening ceremony on Friday and field a joint team in women’s ice hockey, the first ever inter-Korean Olympic team. President Moon Jae-in of South Korea is hoping North Korea’s participation will lead to a longer-lasting thaw in relations between the two.
But Mr. Pence’s potentially conciliatory comments came as North Korea used its state news media Tuesday to issue a series of caustic, personal attacks on Mr. Trump and his State of the Union speech last week, in which he assailed the North’s “reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons.” His comments came amid reports that the United States was considering a “bloody nose” strategy of a limited military strike on North Korea.
The North’s official Korean Central News Agency, or KCNA, warned the United States against taking such military action.
“Dolt-like Trump should know that his backbone would be broken, to say nothing of ‘bloody nose,’ and the empire of America would go to the hell and the short history of the U.S. would end forever, the moment he destroys even a single blade of grass on this land,” KCNA said.
Rodong Sinmun, a North Korean state newspaper, said the State of the Union address showed that Mr. Trump was “a lunatic.”