Pence: 'America Stands up to Murderous Dictatorships' Like North Korea

"I am honored to lead the US delegation to the closing ceremonies of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics", Trump said in a statement.

While high-level members of the North Korean delegation will also be present at the event, White House officials have asserted that Trump's trip is not meant to facilitate a meeting with the North Koreans.

The man is Kim Yong Chol, vice chairman of the central committee of the North's ruling Workers' Party of Korea.

But Ivanka Trump is expected to be in close proximity to the North Korean delegation, at least for the closing ceremony.

He is in charge of inter-Korean affairs and used to be head of military intelligence.

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State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told The Japan Times in an emailed statement that Pence "was ready to take this opportunity to drive home the necessity of North Korea abandoning its illicit ballistic missile and nuclear programs". Kim is also blacklisted by both the United States and South Korea.

Despite initial plans of the North to also send performers to the Olympics, Pyongyang canceled their participation in late January, citing the South Korean media, which, according to the North, was undermining the honest efforts undertaken by the DPRK in connection with the Olympics. She is scheduled to dine with Moon on Friday and will watch some Olympic events in Pyeongchang before attending the closing ceremony.

Vice President Pence garnered criticism from some media outlets for refusing to stand when the unified Korea team debuted in Pyeongchang and to meet with North Korean officials.

"Perhaps that's why they walked away from a meeting, or perhaps they were never honest about sitting down", Ayers said.

Ivanka Trump, who will lead a US delegation to the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Korea, has no plan to have any contact with North Korean delegates, officials from the White House and the Blue House said Thursday.

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Pence went on to explain that "the United States government has sanctioned" Kim Yo Jong due to "her role in abetting North Korea's horrendous human rights abuses and crimes against humanity".

The money was mostly spent on accommodation, transport and food for the four delegation officials and their 18 staff members, an official at South Korea's Ministry of Unification said on condition of anonymity. The unification ministry in Seoul did not specify where Kim Yong Chol's delegation would stay. It would've been the highest level of engagement between American and North Korean officials in more than a decade. "We are not going to use such a sports festival as the Winter Olympics as a political lever". Kim Yong-chol is the subject of sanctions from both the USA and South Korea, including travel restrictions imposed from afar.

Following a six-week investigation, South Korea concluded that it saw "no other plausible explanation" than that North Korea was behind the attack.

But she was rapidly ushered up the ladder after Kim Jong-Un took the helm and she is now one of the most powerful women in the isolated regime.

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  • Ryan Wade