Pence bashes North Korea's military parade, endorses Trump's parade

Pence called North Korea's military parade an act of "provocation."

"I think any opportunity we have to celebrate the men and women of the armed forces of the United States is a great day," Pence said, supporting Trump's request to plan a military parade. "I heartily support the president's call to celebrate our military."

But Pence continued, calling the North Korean parade "an ongoing provocation."

"Make no mistake about it, what we witnessed in Pyongyang, and we witnessed again yesterday, on the eve of the Olympics -- what [South Korean] President Moon [Jae-in] said last night, he hopes will be an Olympics of peace -- was once again an effort on the part of the regime in Pyongyang to display their ballistic missiles, to display a military that continues to make menacing threats across the region and across the wider world.

North Korea's parade on Thursday was held to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the country’s military, and featured hundreds of choreographed soldiers marching in formation, rows of missiles and lines of tanks.

Pence reiterated the United States' stance on a denuclearized North Korea in the same interview Friday in which he denounced the country's parade.

"The simple truth is that the time has come for North Korea to permanently abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile ambitions -- to recognize there is no future as a member of the family of nations for a nuclear-empowered North Korea," he said after touring the Cheonan naval memorial, a tribute to the South Korean ship sunk in 2010. Forty-six members of its crew were killed in an attack a South Korean, U.K. and U.S. investigation showed was carried out by the North. The North has always denied it was responsible.

The U.S. delegation led by Pence will not be meeting with North Korean officials during its time in Pyeongchang. Pence had said they would "see what happens" when asked about a potential meeting earlier in the week, but the North's foreign ministry shot down any chance of talks on Thursday.

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