North Korea: ‘No intention to meet with the US side’ during Olympics

North Korea: ‘No intention to meet with the US side’ during Olympics
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North Korean state media said on Thursday that officials have no intention of meeting with their U.S. counterparts during the upcoming Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. 

“Explicitly speaking, we have no intention to meet with the U.S. side during the stay in South Korea," the KCNA news agency said, citing director-general at North Korea’s foreign ministry, Jo Yong Sam, according to Reuters. 

"Our delegation’s visit to South Korea is only to take part in the Olympics and hail its successful holding.”

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Vice President Pence, who will lead the U.S.'s delegation to the winter games, earlier this week did not rule out the possibility of dialogue between Pyongyang and Washington at the competition. 

"President TrumpDonald John TrumpMeet the lawyer Democrats call when it's recount time Avenatti denies domestic violence allegations: 'I have never struck a woman' Trump names handbag designer as ambassador to South Africa MORE has said he always believes in talking, but I haven’t requested any meetings," the vice president said. "But we’ll see what happens." 

However, Pence said one day later that the U.S. would soon unveil a grueling round of economic sanctions against North Korea in response to the development of the country's nuclear and ballistic weapons program. 

"I’m announcing today that the United States of America will soon unveil the toughest and most aggressive round of economic sanctions on North Korea ever," Pence said on Wednesday in Japan. 

"We will continue to isolate North Korea until it abandons its nuclear and ballistic missile program once and for all."

Relations between North Korea and the international community have deteriorated over the past year. 

The United Nations Security Council has slapped a series of sanctions on Pyongyang in response to a series of intercontinental ballistic missile launches. 

However, relations between the U.S. and South Korea and appear to have improved ahead of the Olympics. 

North Korea is sending a large delegation to the games. Leader Kim Jong Un's sister will also attend the games, marking the first time a member of the ruling family will visit South Korea.