Vice President Mike Pence sat only a few feet away from North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s sister at the opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics, but he ignored her and purposefully so, he revealed Wednesday.
Kim Yo Jong, sister and confidant of the North Korean dictator, is a prominent figure in a brutal regime and is blacklisted by the U.S. Department of the Treasury for gross human rights violations. While the media, fascinated by Kim’s little sister, embarrassingly heaped praise on the woman, Pence ignored her to send a message.
His explanation of his decision probably has several media outlets, which enthusiastically wrote about Kim’s smile, warmth, and beauty while comparing Kim to Ivanka Trump, feeling a little ashamed of their coverage.
WATCH: Pence Explains His Decision To Ignore Kim Yo Jong
“I didn’t avoid the dictator’s sister, but I did ignore her,” the vice president told Axios, adding, “I did not believe it was proper for the United States of America to give any attention in that forum to someone who is not merely the sister of the dictator but is the leader of the propaganda effort.”
Kim Yo Jong has served as the chief of North Korea’s propaganda department, helping to shape her brother’s cult of personality at a time when he was purging officials and their families by the hundreds.
“You have to remember this is a family who very recently ordered their brother be murdered using chemical weapons,” Pence said, referring to the horrific murder of Kim Jong Nam at an international airport in Malaysia last year. The assassination, which was carried out with VX, a deadly nerve agent, is believed to have been orchestrated by the North Korean regime.
“This is a regime and a family that also ordered that their uncle be executed with artillery fire in the presence of ten thousand people,” he remarked, calling attention to the execution of Jang Song Thaek shortly after Kim Jong Un seized power.
ALSO WATCH: Defector Describes Why Communist North Korea Is Evil
“This is evil the likes of which we have witnessed rarely in our time around the world,” the vice president told reporters, “I wanted to send — by my silence — a very clear message, that the people of the United States know who we are dealing with and that we are going to continue to stand firmly and stand strong and with resolve with our allies until the regime in North Korea ceases to threaten our country and our allies with nuclear and ballistic missiles, and we will continued to hold them to account on their appalling record of abuse of human rights of their own people.”
Pence has said that the U.S. is open to talks with North Korea, but the maximum pressure campaign will continue until North Korea decides to pursue denuclearization. As long as North Korea continues to threaten the U.S. and its allies, the U.S. and its international partners will continue to pile sanctions on the rogue regime, the implication appearing to be that Kim will either be brought to his senses or brought to his knees.
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