Vice President Pence Remarks on North Korea White House staff CSPAN February 10, 2018 3:51am-4:06am EST
tuesday morning, we are live in little rock, arkansas for the next stop on the c-span bus 50 capitals tour. asa hutchinson will be our starting ate bus 9:00 a.m. eastern. the winter olympic games are underway. u.s. delegation is vice president mike pence. after remarks to soldiers yesterday at an airbase in japan, he took questions from reporters for about 10 minutes. vice president pence: thanks, everybody. i'm good. thank you so much. before we leave for south korea, let me say a few words and we'll take a few questions. we're completing what we believe has been a very successful visit to our allies here in japan. very productive and substantive discussions with prime minister all day, with leadership of
japan's self-defense forces. honor being here and touring the air force base and being around men and women of the armed forces of the united states in japan is deeply inspiring. we came here to japan to renew the strength of our alliance and restate our strong commitment to stand with people of japan and for our common security. and now, we board air force 2, we head to south korea with a similar mission on the front i'll -- front end. i'll be meeting today with president moon and we'll talk about bilateral issues. both economic prosperity as well as security in the region. i look forward to substantive discussions with president moon today. karen and i are also very excited to be headed to the olympics to cheer on all the american athletes that will be competing there.
we know they'll be bringing home a lot of gold and we very much look forward to the opening ceremonies tomorrow night. lastly, as i did here today, we'll continue to seize every opportunity to ensure that north korea does not use the powerful imagery and backdrop of the olympics to paper over an appalling record of human rights and a pattern of developing weapons and conducting in the kind of missile launches that are threatening our nation and threatening neighbors across the region. we delivered that message consistently here to japan. -- in japan. we'll continue to deliver that in north korea -- south korea and every appropriate setting. it should be an eventful couple of days and again, we appreciate all of you traveling along. i would be happy to take a few questions. reporter: sir, the speech you made today some might interpret
it as preparing men and women for war. was that your intention? vice president pence: we're standing in a country that's literally seeing ballistic missiles overfly their land. twice in a single month, and they have seen multiple ballistic missiles land within their economic zone in the sea of japan. the american forces, japan, and self-defense forces of japan are ready for any eventuality. we will continue to make it clear to all parties that the united states and our allies in this region stand ready at a moment's notice to defend our people and defend our way of life. the message today is very much an affirmation of that reality and that truth, but we truly believe that peace comes through strength, as president trump has said many times. our continued hope is by advancing a maximum pressure
campaign of additional economic sanctions that we announced yesterday, additional diplomatic pressure, we'll be able to resolve the issues facing the korean peninsula peaceably, but all options are on the table. reflecting on, and in a very real sense, affirming american readiness and our ally's readiness is an important part. reporter: you opened the door to the meeting at the olympics with the north koreans on monday. today the north korean officials say they have no intent to dialogue with the u.s. your response? would it be problematic with south korea decided to meet with the north koreans? vice president pence: let me say we haven't requested a meeting with north korea. if i have any contact with them in any context, over the next two days, my message will be the same as it was here today. north korea needs to once and
for all abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile ambitions and the pressure will continue on it, economically and diplomatically, until that's accomplished. we'll also make it very clear that the united states of america and our allies are fully prepared to defend ourselves, and defend our freedom and people. so we'll see if any kind of meeting comes about, in any context, but i can assure you my message will be very same what i said here at yokota air base and the same what i said in tokyo yesterday, and that is the time has come for north korea to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile ambitions. set aside this long pattern of deception and provocation and then, and only then, can we begin to move forward to a peaceable outcome on the peninsula. home, a comment
on the allegations against bob porter. when were you made aware of the allegations and how? additionally reports now that general kelly and others have been aware of these allegations for several months. do you believe the president is being well served by his senior staff? vice president pence: we're standing at yokota air force base in japan. we're on our way to the olympics. i learned as i woke this morning of those developments. so we'll comment on any issues affecting the white house staff when we get back to washington. reporter: can i briefly follow-up up on that and ask, this is now a number of times when you found out, vice president, number two in the administration, where you found out about something very late after a number of other senior staff below you even in the west wing found out about i understand we're standing here, but can you comment on why you often seem a little bit out of the loop on some of this major news? vice president pence: it's a
great honor for me to serve as vice president. president trump has been incredibly generous with the responsibilities and opportunities he's given me to serve, representing the united states on the foreign stage as we have here in japan. as we will later today in south korea and at the olympics, and also being involved in the legislative process. i'm very grateful for that. we'll leave those white house staffing matters for when we get back to washington. reporter: just a quick follow back on north korea. first of all, you mentioned you spoke with the president this morning. has there been any additional instructions in terms of what's going on in the region with north korea and a possible meeting? could you just give us a little flavor of the dynamic going on with the possible meeting, even despite their rhetoric where the north koreans sending mention -- messages through the south that they'd like to meet? our -- are the south koreans trying to get to you meet? there's just this wind in the air about you meeting with them. how did that come about? vice president pence: as i said a few days ago -- i haven't requested a meeting.
reporter: exactly. so how did the idea come about? pence: leave that to others to discuss. let me say at this point in time, we're headed to the olympics. there may be a possibility for any kind of an encounter with north koreans, whether it be informal or whether it take the form of a meeting. reporter: do you know of any particular -- >> we'll have to wait and see exactly how that unfolds. what i want to assure the american people is that as the president said, while we always believe in talking, our message is going to be exactly the same as it was here in japan. to be exactly the same as president trump delivered in his state of the union address. and that is that north korea must end this long era of deception and provocation, of developing nuclear weapons, threatening the region, and wider world. if they don't, while all options are on the table, we'll continue to bring greater and greater pressure to bear until we
achieve the denuclearization of the korean peninsula. >> all right, we've got to go. one more. reporter: it's no secret there's tension between the moon administration and trump administration over their engagement with north korea. good to admin -- they have two different visions about where this engagement should go. how do you plan to address that with president moon when you meet him? is there a way to get back on the same page with the trump administration and the moon administration? vice president pence: president trump and president moon enjoy a strong relationship. spoke by the phone last week and i'm very much looking forward to the time that we'll have in our bilateral meetings today and meetings yet this evening. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] let me assure you the relationship between the united states and south korea is strong. we're committed to freedom.
we're committed to our common defense. i trust that when i meet with president moon today we'll reflect on all of those agreements and that common purpose. even as we also, even as we also reaffirm our commitment to continue well beyond the olympics. when the olympics are long a distant memory, to continue to isolate north korea economically and diplomatically so that we can achieve what the world has longed to see. which is a nuclear-free korean peninsula. reporter: would you advise president moon against meeting with the north koreans? vice president pence: i will tell you i look forward to visiting with president moon tonight and talk about our common interest and common commitment to freedom. but i also look forward to being with president moon to celebrate the olympics. as the president said this morning, south korea's done an incredible job getting ready for these winter olympics. it will be a great celebration. a great testament to a free and prosperous nation.
i look forward to sharing a great experience and great memories with president moon. the backdrop of his discussions with north korea, about joint olympic efforts, i expect will be a topic. but at the end of the day i know that we're going to reaffirm in our discussions the strong alliance between the united states and south korea. it's an alliance that will grow economically and grow strategically and my great privilege to reaffirm that. >> as president trump met with supporters, he briefly commented has been porter, who accused of domestic violence by his two ex-wives. can you comment on this? >> we wish him well. he worked very hard.
it's a tough time for him. hopefully, he will have a great career ahead of him. it was sad when we heard about it. we also, as you probably know, he's innocent. we have to remember that. he said yesterday that he is innocent. absolutely wish him well. he did a good job while he was a white house. thank you very much, everybody. thank you. >> thank you very much. -- an.org [indiscernible] >> thank you very much,
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