Right before Vice President Mike Pence was set to secretly meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister during the Winter Olympics in South Korea, the North Koreans canceled on him, his office told The Washington Post on Tuesday.
Pence and a team were going to meet with Kim Yo Jong, Kim's sister, and Kim Yong Nam, North Korea's nominal head of state, on Feb. 10, but the Koreans pulled out of the meeting less than two hours before it was scheduled to start. Pence had been vocal about sanctions and his belief that North Korea was using the Winter Games for propaganda purposes, and North Korea made it clear they did not like his remarks, Pence's office said. "This administration will stand in the way of Kim's desire to whitewash their murderous regime with nice photo ops at the Olympics," Pence's chief of staff, Nick Ayers, told the Post.
It took about two weeks to set up the meeting, which was supposed to take place at South Korea's Blue House. Not long after the cancellation, the state-run Korean Central News Agency blasted Pence, saying he "must know that his frantic acts of abusing the sacred Olympics for confrontational ruckus are as foolish and stupid an act as sweeping the sea with a broom."