North Korea does not intend to meet U.S. officials during Olympics: KCNA

FILE PHOTO: A North Korean flag flies on a mast at the Permanent Mission of North Korea in Geneva October 2, 2014. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea has no intention of meeting U.S officials during the Winter Olympics that begin on Friday, the official KCNA news agency quoted a senior North Korean official as saying.

Seoul’s Ministry of Unification said on Wednesday North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, planned to visit South Korea as part of a high-level delegation to attend the opening ceremony of the Olympics in the alpine resort town of Pyeongchang.

The opening will also be attended by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who vowed tough new sanctions against Pyongyang over its nuclear and missile programs on Wednesday and called it the world’s most tyrannical regime.

“We have never begged for dialogue with the United States and it will be the same going forward”, KCNA reported on Thursday, citing Cho Yong Sam, director-general of the North American department of North Korea’s foreign ministry.

“To be clear, we have no intention of meeting with the U.S. during our visit to South Korea,” the report said.

Cho said the North Korean delegation’s visit to the Winter Olympics was only to celebrate the Games and that Pyongyang had no intention of using the Winter Olympics as a political vehicle.

Reporting by Hyonhee Shin and Christine Kim; Editing by Richard Pullin and Paul Tait