The father of Otto Warmbier — the college student who was arrested in North Korea and later died — is said to be attending the Winter Olympics with Vice President Mike Pence. Josh King has the story (@abridgetoland).
Vice President Mike Pence met with North Korean defectors Friday as he uses his appearance at the Winter Olympics to call on the international community to grow tougher on North Korea’s nuclear program and human rights abuses.
Eager to put a reality check on the thaw in relations between the two Koreas ahead of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, Pence met with four North Korean defectors, some of whom have been tortured and abused.
Pence was accompanied by his wife Karen Pence, and special guest Fred Warmbier, whose son Otto Warmbier died after his release from captivity in North Korea.
The death of the Wyoming High School graduate under mysterious circumstances this year devastated a family, riveted Greater Cincinnati and the nation – and generated geopolitical waves that could nudge the United States and North Korea toward nuclear war.
During the meeting, Pence warned that the world would see “a charm offensive by North Korea” Friday. “But today we thought it was important to make sure the truth is told.”
“As these people and their lives testify, it is a regime that imprisons, and tortures, and impoverishes its citizens,” he added.
Pence, who will lead the U.S. delegation to the opening ceremonies Friday evening, met Thursday with South Korean President Moon Jae-in to press for a more clear-eyed approach toward the nuclear-armed neighbor to the north.
Moon, however, has looked at the games as an opportunity to pursue a diplomatic opening with North Korea, which sent leader Kim Jong Un’s sister to attend the opening ceremony.
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