Pence says U.S. will ‘stand firm’ with N. Korea

WASHINGTON, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said the United States will "stand firm" with North Korea over its nuclear weapons program.

In an interview with Fox News aired Friday, Pence was asked about the future of denuclearization negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang following the North's renewed firing of missiles and the U.S. seizure of a North Korean vessel earlier this week.

"Well, look, President (Donald) Trump truly believes that Chairman Kim (Jong-un) wants to negotiate," the vice president said. "But as he said yesterday, it doesn't look like he wants to negotiate right now. So look, we're going to continue to stand firm."

Trump said Thursday that the U.S. is looking at North Korea "very seriously" after its launch of short-ranges missiles the same day.

"Nobody's happy about it, but we're taking a good look," he said. "I know they want to negotiate, they're talking about negotiating. But I don't think they're ready to negotiate."

A second summit between Trump and Kim in February ended without a deal due to differences over the scope of North Korea's denuclearization and sanctions relief from the U.S.

The missile firing, which came five days after a similar launch by the North, appeared to signal Pyongyang's frustration with Washington over the stalled negotiations.

Source: Yonhap news Agency

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