Mike Pence and North Korean officials had planned to meet secretly during the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, but Pyongyang scrapped the talks after the US vice president denounced abuses from the "murderous regime," US officials said Tuesday.
"During the vice president's recent visit to South Korea to demonstrate allied resolve and support American athletes, the possibility arose of a brief meeting with the North Korean delegation leaders," State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.
"The vice president was ready to take this opportunity to drive home the necessity of North Korea abandoning its illicit ballistic missile and nuclear programs.
"At the last minute, DPRK officials decided not to go forward with the meeting. We regret their failure to seize this opportunity," she added