Keeping maximum pressure on North Korea was again a topic of discussion during Vice President Mike Pence’s closed-door meetings on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.
Pence made his way up to the U.S. Capitol for Tuesday’s Senate Republican Policy Lunch and several meetings with lawmakers that were closed to the press.
Sen. Jim Risch, having recently returned from the Olympics closing ceremony, discussed the United States’ posture toward North Korea as well as the continuing maximum pressure campaign for a denuclearized Korean peninsula, according to an administration official.
Pence led a delegation to the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Pyongyang, South Korea. During the trip the Vice President also met with defectors from North Korea. Fred Warmbier, father of deceased American and former North Korean prisoner Otto Warmbier, also joined Pence for the meeting with defectors.
The Vice President has rebuked media reports that painted North Korean Director of Propaganda Kim Yo-jong, sister of dictator Kim Jong-Un, as a star at the games. During Pence’s CPAC speech in late February he made a point to detail her role as a “central pillar of the most radical and oppressive regime on the face of the planet.”
South Korean officials recently brought word from a meeting with the North Koreans to President Donald Trump. Trump accepted a relayed offer to meet with the North Korean leader on very specific conditions, including continuance of the maximum pressure campaign on North Korea to denuclearize.
Pence also met with Korean War vet Rep. Sam Johnson during his visit to the Capitol.
Senate Leader Mitch McConnell also spent time with Vice President Pence discussing upcoming items.
The Vice President has been a very active figure on Capitol Hill through legislative efforts on the repeal of Obamacare and tax reform. He has also served as a tie-breaking vote several times in his capacity as President of the Senate. The Vice President previously served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives before serving as Governor of Indiana and now Vice President of the United States.
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