Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Ivanka Trump to lead US delegation at Olympics' close

Ivanka Trump to lead US delegation at Olympics' close Ivanka Trump to lead US delegation at Olympics' close
Patty Aguilar | 08 February, 2018, 17:53

South Korea's Unification Ministry said North Korea told it on Wednesday that Kim Yo Jong would be part of the delegation led by the country's nominal head of state Kim Yong Nam.

The rally, organized by the Korean Patriotic Party, was dispersed by police.

Pence leaves for South Korea on Thursday, and is scheduled to meet with President Moon Jae-in and attend the opening ceremony of the Pyongchang games. "The full range of American military capabilities is dedicated to the protection of Japan", Pence tweeted.

He is also bringing Fred Warmbier, whose son Otto died soon after being released from North Korean captivity a year ago, as his special guest to the Olympics opening ceremony.

Fred Warmbier and his wife Cindy were in the audience during US President Donald Trump's State of the Union address last month.

Hundreds of North Korean cheerleaders have arrived in South Korea today to support their team at the Winter Olympic Games here.

This week, Pence suggested he would be open to meeting North Korean politicians on the sidelines of the Olympics, saying President Donald Trump "always believes in talking". And when pressed, he doubled down. "But we'll see what happens", he said. It's a convenient way for North Korean officials to keep closer control over the delegation and limit its exposure to South Korean "ideological contamination". Like most world-class athletes, Kim has been preparing for this moment since she was barely out of elementary school ... and she has the record-breaking stats to prove it. "He is going to stand with our allies".

Their arrival comes after a recent arrangement between Pyongyang and Seoul regarding North Korea's participation in the games. "We'll have to see what happens".

Ivanka Trump to lead US delegation at Olympics' close

Some observers in South Korea have suggested the North has embedded security agents in its IOC-accredited delegation by giving them positions as officials or journalists.

South Korea has already had to relax its sanctions on North Korea to allow a ship carrying an orchestra from Pyongyang to dock on its shores.

He will address troops at a United States air base outside Tokyo on Thursday before heading on to South Korea. However, Pence has not ruled out meeting with North Korean leaders during the games. "Seoul wants to pave the way for the restoration of relations and possibly to talks for the denuclearization of the North".

"A message was being sent", explained an administration official when discussing what Pence and Tillerson have said over the last 24 hours.

"And that is that North Korea must once and for all abandon its nuclear weapons program and ballistic missile ambitions". Only then, he stressed, could North Korea take its place among the family of nations.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, meanwhile, said it was important not to let up pressure on North Korea after its missile tests: "We must not be fooled by North Korea's "smile diplomacy".

He said that the Vatican was ready to back any "useful peace initiative that favors peace and encounter among peoples".

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