Trump's insults, sanctions, and willingness to talk may have pushed NK to the bargaining table

For weeks, Vice President Mike Pence had secretly prepared for what appeared a historic opportunity — the highest level meeting between the U.S. government and North Korea since President Clinton welcomed a visiting vice marshal to the White House in October 2000.

Pence had attended the Winter Olympic opening ceremonies on Feb. 9 in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and the next morning in his hotel, he hammered out final terms of the meeting he expected to hold that day with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s sister and other high-ranking aides, according to two White House officials.

Pence planned to say in private what he had declared in public — that the White House would maintain harsh economic restrictions on Pyongyang until its leaders showed concrete signs of ending their nuclear program.

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