Vice President Mike Pence responded to media coverage of his trip to South Korea for the Winter Olympics earlier this month.
Many American news outlets, including The Washington Post, CBS News, and USA Today, had criticized the Vice President for not standing for the athletes of the combined North and South Korean team.
“For all of those in the media who think that I should have stood and cheered with the North Koreans, I say the United States of America doesn’t stand with murderous dictatorships,” Pence said in a speech at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Feb. 21.
Pence also took aim at media who had reported glowingly on the sister of North Korean communist dictator Kim Jong Un.
The New York Times published an article headlined, “Kim Jong-un’s Sister Turns on the Charm, Taking Pence’s Spotlight,” while CNN published an article headlined, “Kim Jong Un’s sister is stealing the show at the Winter Olympics.”
Kim Yo Jong serves as the director of North Korea’s Department of Propaganda and Agitation, an agency common in communist dictatorships.
The New York Times praised Kim Yo Jong, stating that she flashed a “sphinx-like smile and without ever speaking in public,” and brought a different message from President Donald Trump’s policy of sanctions, to instead deliver “messages of reconciliation.”
North Korea has threatened to attack the United States as well as allies South Korea and Japan with nuclear weapons dozens of times over the past six months.
In December, the regime test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile, which Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said can reach anywhere in the world.
“Many in the mainstream media seem quite taken with another—for all the media fawning over the sister of the North Korean dictator,” Pence said.
“I think it’s important that every American knows who this person is and what she has done. The sister of Kim Jong Un is a central pillar of the most dramatic and oppressive regime on the planet.”
Since coming to office last year, President Donald Trump has taken a firm stance against the North Korean nuclear threat. He has demanded the complete denuclearization of North Korea as the only solution to the crisis.
In response to the increased threat, the United States has deployed additional military assets to the region and stepped up military drills.
“We’ve made it clear to North Korea. The era of ‘strategic patience’ is over,” Pence said.
The strategy of “strategic patience” was applied by the Obama administration but did not result in North Korea abandoning its nuclear weapons program. It instead allowed the regime to continue its nuclear program which now poses a genuine threat to the United States.
Trump has frequently criticized previous administrations for failing to respond adequately to the North Korean threat. Despite multiple agreements made with previous presidents, North Korea was able to break these and continue its nuclear program.
The Trump administration has also put an emphasis on increasing military spending.
“In just a few weeks [President Trump] will sign the largest investment in our national defense since the days of Ronald Reagan,” Pence said in his CPAC speech.
Additional reporting by Epoch Times reporter Emel Akan.