U.S. Vice President Pence postpones Brazil trip as North Korea talks loom

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence participates in the opening session of the Americas Summit in Lima, Peru April 14, 2018. REUTERS/Andres Stapff

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is postponing his plans to travel to Brazil this month in order to ensure foreign policy resources are focused on President Donald Trump’s coming talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Pence’s spokeswoman said on Thursday.

“The Vice President is delaying his trip to Brazil in order to ensure all diplomatic and national security resources are available as President Trump plans for his historic talks with the Kim regime,” said Alyssa Farah, Pence’s spokeswoman.

No exact date or location has been announced for Trump’s meeting with Kim but it is expected to take place in late May or early June. Pence did not want divert any attention from the talks, Farah said.

Pence’s trip had been expected to include a stop in Manaus, a city near the border with Venezuela. The Trump administration has been critical of Venezuela’s government and has been weighing new sanctions against it.

Pence had also been scheduled to visit Rio de Janeiro on May 30 and meet with Brazilian President Michel Temer and cabinet ministers in Brasilia on May 31, a Brazilian government source told Reuters last month.

“The vice president looks forward to traveling to Brazil in the near future and will continue to work closely with U.S. allies in Latin America to further strengthen our important alliances in the region,” Farah said.

Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Mohammad Zargham and Frances Kerry