Pence delaying Brazil trip ahead of Trump, North Korea summit

Pence delaying Brazil trip ahead of Trump, North Korea summit
© Kaitlin Milliken

Vice President Pence is delaying a planned visit to Brazil as President TrumpDonald John TrumpDem lawmaker says Electoral College was 'conceived' as way to perpetuate slavery Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals to visit White House on Monday Transportation Dept requests formal audit of Boeing 737 Max certification MORE prepares for a landmark summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, a spokeswoman for the vice president said Thursday.

Alyssa Farah, Pence's press secretary, said in a statement that the vice president would postpone the trip "in order to ensure all diplomatic and national security resources are available" to Trump ahead of the talks.

"The Vice President looks forward to traveling to Brazil in the near future and will continue to work closely with U.S. allies in Latin America to further strengthen our important alliances in the region," she said.

ADVERTISEMENT

 

Pence was slated to make his first official trip to Brazil at the end of May, where he was expected to meet with President Michel Temer and cabinet ministers. 

But the Trump administration has turned its attention to the upcoming talks between Trump and Kim, a meeting that will mark the first such encounter between a sitting U.S. president and North Korean leader in history.

A date has not yet been set for the meeting, though it is expected to happen either at the end of May or in June. 

The planned encounter carries high stakes. The U.S. and its allies are pressing the North to scrap its nuclear program, and officials in Pyongyang have indicated that Kim is willing to discuss denuclearization, though he is likely to have his own demands for the United States.  

In another historic encounter, Kim crossed into South Korea late last month for a meeting with President Moon Jae-in.

After those talks, the two leaders announced that they had agreed to work toward removing nuclear weapons from the Korean Peninsula and vowed to enter into discussions with the U.S. about formally ending the Korean War.

Updated at 10:29 a.m.