The Latest: Pence says US will roll out ‘toughest’ sanctions

TOKYO (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence says the U.S. is preparing to announce the “toughest and most aggressive” economic sanctions against North Korea in the coming days, boosting pressure on the bellicose government during the Winter Olympics.

Says Pence: “The United States of America will soon unveil the toughest and most aggressive round of economic sanctions on North Korea ever – and we will continue to isolate North Korea until it abandons its nuclear and ballistic missile programs once and for all.”

Pence, who is set to lead the U.S. delegation to the opening ceremonies Friday, made the announcement in Japan Wednesday, following meetings with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Pence says the purpose of his trip is to ensure the North can’t “hijack” the games, and his schedule includes symbolic events designed to highlight North Korea’s human rights abuses and nuclear program.