Pence says U.S. will work closely with allies to denuclearize N.K.

SEOUL, :U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday the United States will "stand shoulder to shoulder" with its allies, including Japan and South Korea, to achieve its goal of denuclearizing North Korea, foreign media reported.

Pence made the remarks at the start of his meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo. He is in Tokyo before coming to South Korea to attend the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

"We will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Japan, the people of South Korea and our allies and partners across the region until we achieve the global objective of denuclearization of the Korean peninsula," Reuters quoted him as saying.

Pence is leading a U.S. delegation for the Winter Olympics, which will kick off on Friday.

His trip to South Korea is raising cautious expectations about possible U.S.-North Korea contacts on the sidelines of the sporting event, which will also be joined by high-ranking North Korean officials.

Earlier, the North informed the South that Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, will be included in a high-level delegation that will make a trip here this week. The delegation will be led by the North's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-nam.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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