Despite Trump's threat of fire and fury and the United Nations series of economic sanctions, North Korea's Kim Jong Un has never backed down from his nuclear and missile tests, openly warning the U.S. its missiles can now reach any city on the USA mainland.
"I have relationships with people", Trump continued. The North's attempts for clandestine purchase of vital fuel have been hit by firm action by South Korea when it seized two ships, which had delivered fuel to North Korean vessels on the high seas.
"No one would now think the North could lob nuclear bombs over the heads of its own athletes".
Jarrod Agen, Pence's deputy chief of staff, said Pence would travel to the Olympics "to reinforce the strong USA presence on the Korean Peninsula and send a clear message of American resolve to the North Korean regime".
Despite pledging to continue a campaign of pressure against North Korea and in an effort to allay tensions, the us and South Korea have already agreed to postpone scheduled joint military exercises during the Paralympics Winter Games.
Test launches of American missiles - without the nuclear warheads they can deliver - would be unlikely to cause much of a stir under regular circumstances.
Stressing his commitment to military spending, Trump said: "We are going to have peace through strength". During a meeting with South Korean foreign correspondents in Washington on January 11, a senior official in the South Korean government addressed the idea of "60 days without provocations", which the United States has stated is a precondition for initiating dialogue with the North.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters in Washington on Tuesday that the USA government welcomed the talks on the Olympics and was consulting with Seoul to ensure that any agreement does not violate United Nations sanctions imposed over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons, the AP reported. North Korean athletes and spectators will attend the Pyeongchang Olympics.
Under the campaign, high-level party executives and ordinary North Koreans alike are subject to screenings to determine if they have engaged in non-socialist activities, such as gambling, fraud, prostitution, usury, visiting fortunetellers, following Western culture, and watching or distributing foreign visual media.
There seems to be disagreement among administration officials on how to handle North Korea, as was observed when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson offered to sit down with the North Koreans "without precondition".
North Korea a year ago increased the pace of its missile programme.
"Not helpful enough, but they've been very helpful", he said. There may be signs of a thaw on the Korean peninsula but thaw in the frozen relations between the USA and North Korea are nowhere on the horizon.
"If the South Korean authorities really want detente and peace, they should first stop all the military acts they have waged with the United States against their brethren", Efe quoted an article in the Workers' Party of North Korea's newspaper Rodong Sinmun as saying.