15:53 GMT +323 February 2018
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    North Korean soldiers (C) take photos towards a South Korean soldier (L) and a US soldier (R) standing before the military demarcation line (lower C) seperating North and South Korea within the Joint Security Area (JSA) at Panmunjom on July 27, 2014

    State Department: US Ready to Hold Talks With North Korea

    © AFP 2018/ Ed Jones
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States is willing to hold talks with DPRK despite intensifying its pressure campaign against Pyongyang, US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said during a press briefing.

    "The maximum pressure campaign is going to continue and intensify but if you want to talk, we’ll talk," Nauert told reporters on Tuesday.

    South Korean President Moon Jae-in's spokesman told reporters earlier in the day that US officials had signaled a willingness to negotiate with North Korea during a meeting with South Korea’s leader on the sidelines of the Winter Olympics.

    During his trip to South Korea, US Vice President Mike Pence refused to speak with any members of the North Korean delegation at the Olympics, which included Kim Jong Un’s sister Kim Yo Jong who sat near him during the opening ceremony.

    Pence also reportedly said that the United States was preparing new agressive sanctions against Pyongyang.

    Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have escalated drastically last year due to the North's nuclear activity, which led to the UN Security Council imposing its toughest ever sanctions on the country.

    In November, North Korea tested its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile, which according to Pyongyang, would have been capable of hitting any part of the US mainland.

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    'State of the Union Could Be Read as Groundwork for US Strike on DPRK' – Analyst
    Tags:
    tensions, talks, diplomacy, sanctions, Heather Nauert, Mike Pence, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), United States
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