US Vice President Mike Pence issued a warning while in Japan on Wednesday, saying that his country is planning to present the “toughest and most aggressive” sanctions on North Korea. He also said that the US will not allow North Korea to “hijack” the upcoming Olympic Games by displaying propaganda.

Pence in South Korea (archive)

Pence in South Korea (archive) Photo Credit: EPA

Speaking on Wednesday after a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo, US Vice President Mike Pence announced that Washington will soon present the “toughest and most aggressive” economic sanctions on North Korea.

“Together with Japan, and all our allies, we will continue to intensify our maximum pressure campaign until North Korea takes concrete steps toward complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization,” Pence said.

With the 2018 Winter Olympics set to begin on Friday in the South Korean county of Pyeongchang, Pence warned that the actions of the North Korean delegation will be monitored. “We will not allow North Korean propaganda to hijack the message and imagery of the Olympic Games,” he said. “We will not allow North Korea to hide behind the Olympic banner the reality that they enslave their people and threaten the wider region.”

Pyongyang is sending a large delegation that includes athletes, cheerleaders and a member of leader Kim Jong-un’s favorite girl band to the Olympic Games in South Korea. The North Korean delegation is set to march alongside its local counterpart during the opening ceremony.