Remarks by Vice President Pence in Press Gaggle at Cheonan Memorial
Key among Vice President Pence’s remarks were the affirmation of the commitment between the United States and South Korea to continue working together, commending the defectors who had escaped the tyrannical regime in North Korea and reinforcing their commitment to pressurizing North Korea to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile ambitions and upbraiding the North Korea military parade with ballistic missiles being displayed and soldiers matching alongside the weapons (White House, 2018, N. p).
Issues raised by reporters.Remarks by Vice President Pence in Press Gaggle at Cheonan Memorial
- Vice President Pence upbraided the North Korea military parade, yet President Trump ordered up a military parade of his own. Is the Vice President worried that the North Korea parade undermines his moral high ground in South Korea as he is trying to combat North Korean propaganda? Moreover, does Vice President Pence believe that such a military parade through Washington or any other place in the county is appropriate?
- Vice President Pence said that President Moon told him he espoused further sanctions on North Korea, but prior to their meeting President Moon said he wanted the Olympics to form a platform for novel dialogue resulting in new negotiations. Is Vice President Pence open to this and under what terms would the United States support the progression from Olympic engagement to actual dialogue?
- Vice President Pence said that the United States and South Korea share the same objective. However, the images shared by the Vice President on the heartbreaking takes from defectors and the aftermath of the attack paint a discordant picture from the euphoria of Kim Jong-un’s sister visiting the Olympic Games and meeting with President Moon in Pyeongchang, with the possibility of high-level Chinese officials joining. Moreover, is the Olympic fever and possible better relations between the North and South a concern for the United States’ efforts to keep the focus on the behavior of North Korea?
- The United States government shut down under unified Republican control of Washington. What are the efforts of the government in the last few days and does the Republican Party need to do more to prove to the American people and the world that it can govern effectively?
- Has Vice President Pence called any members of the Republican Party to discuss matters to do with legislation and governance?Remarks by Vice President Pence in Press Gaggle at Cheonan Memorial
Information provided by Administration (Vice President Pence) in response to issues raised by reporters.
- Vice President Pence supports President Trump’s call to celebrate the United States’ army and believes any opportunity to celebrate the men and women of the Armed Forces of the United States is a great day. Notwithstanding, the Vice President is of the opinion that the military parade ordered by President Trump is not associated with provocations of the North, but the North Korea military parade was an issue of threat to the region and the world due to its display of ballistic missiles and more so due to its timing on the eve of an “Olympics of peace” (White House, 2018, N. p).
- Vice President Pence reaffirmed the alignment of objectives between President Trump and President Moon with regard to a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula. On the matter about the Olympics leading to dialogue and new negotiations, Vice President Pence emphasized that denuclearization has to be “the starting point any change, not the end point of any change” (White House, 2018, N. p). In other words, the United States is open to novel dialogue and new negotiations about sanctions placed on North Korea only if the nation is willing to contemplate denuclearization and take concrete steps toward dismantling its nuclear and ballistic missile programs permanently and irreversibly.
- Vice President Pence believes that the “charm offensive” that North Korea engages in around the Olympics only to continue with their nuclear tests and ambitions later is not a concern to the United States and its strong relationship with South Korea and Japan. The United States stands firm on its resolution to make North Korea abandon its nuclear ambitions and make a change that values the human rights of its citizens and foreigners. Nonetheless, Vice President Pence believes that the United States and the world community are willing to stand alongside North Korea as long as the nation is willing to change from its decade long subjugation and impoverishment of its people, as well as, threatening of the wider region and the world.
- Vice President Pence is hopeful that the government will only shut down temporarily. However, in the mean-time, the government is making significant efforts to support the military and strengthen the national defense through President Trump’s push for the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act. Through bipartisan efforts, a two-year budget deal has been reached to provide funding for the military and for meeting domestic needs contingent on the vote to pass the budget.
- The Vice President has communicated with President Trump and the legislative office and they are on standby for the vote on the proposed budget.
Assessment of the quality of reporters’ questions and information given to them-remarks by Vice President Pence in Press Gaggle at Cheonan Memorial
The questions asked by the reporters are relevant to the relevant to the issues raised by Vice President Pence about the commitment between the United States and South Korea to continue working together, commending the defectors who had escaped the “tyrannical” regime in North Korea and reinforcing their commitment to pressurizing North Korea to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile ambitions. The questions are also truthful, that is, reporting on proven facts, credible, impartial, independent and critique the Vice President’s remarks. For instance, a reporter questions Vice President Pence’s reproaching of North Korea’s military parade while President Trump ordered for a military parade of his own. The reporter’s also question the credibility of the talks between the United States and North Korea amidst the euphoria of Kim Jong-un’s sister visiting the Olympic Games and meeting with President Moon in Pyeongchang, with the possibility of high-level Chinese officials joining. Vice President Pence provides satisfactory answers to the questions asked by the reporters or responds to the details of the questions asked except for the question regarding whether the Republican Party needs to do more to prove to the American people and the world that it can govern effectively. Vice President Pence does not provide an answer to whether the government needs to prove to the American people and the world that it can govern effectively. The reporter also fails to repeat this question or request the Vice President to respond to it; instead, the reporter asks Vice President Pence whether he has called any members of the Republican Party.
White House. “Remarks By Vice President Pence In Press Gaggle At Cheonan Memorial.” The White House, 2018, https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-vice-president-pence-press-gaggle-cheonan-memorial/.