Şimal Çınar –TDO- Kim Jong Un’s sister Kim Yo Jong, the North Korean vice director of propaganda and agitation, grabbed headlines Friday when she and other officials were captured in photos sitting in the row behind the Vice President of the United States Mike Pence, at the opening ceremony in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Pence, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in were all seated mere feet away from Kim Yo Jong. However, U.S. and North Korea officials decided not to meet which according to the White House was a mutual decision. Vice President Pence on Wednesday said that he actively chose to ignore Kim Jong Un’s sister during last week’s opening ceremonies at the Winter Olympics to send a message that the U.S. would stand up to North Korea’s nuclear program and human rights record.

"I didn't believe it was proper for the United States of America to give any countenance or attention in that form to someone who's not merely the sister of the dictator but is the leader of the propaganda effort," Pence told.

While talking about the decision to ignore Kim Yo Jong, Pence said "This is evil the likes of which we have witnessed rarely in our time around the world, and I wanted to send by my silence a very clear message, that the people of the United States of America know who we're dealing with and that we are going to continue to stand firmly and stand strong with resolve and with our allies until the regime in North Korea ceases to threaten our country and our allies with nuclear (weapons) and ballistic missiles."

Pence on Wednesday said President Donald Trump’s administration would continue to exert maximum pressure on North Korea, which he called “the most tyrannical and oppressive regime on the planet.”

However, the Vice President also expressed an openness to enter into a diplomatic dialogue with North Korea over the weekend. “The maximum-pressure campaign is going to continue and intensify," he told on Sunday. “But if you want to talk, we’ll talk.”

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