Ivanka Trump in South Korea affirms ‘maximum pressure’ on North Korea
President Donald Trump's daughter and senior adviser, Ivanka Trump, is at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang to lead the American delegation cheering on athletes while also reaffirming the alliance between the U.S. and South Korea.
The U.S. delegation, which is to attend the Winter Games closing ceremony on Sunday, arrived at Incheon International Airport on Friday to layer upon layer of waiting reporters.
"We are excited to attend the 2018 Winter Olympic Games to cheer for Team USA and to reaffirm our strong and enduring commitment with the people of the Republic of Korea," Ivanka Trump said to media at the airport.
South Korean President Moon Jae In welcomed the delegation with a dinner banquet at his official residence, the Blue House, Cheong Wa Dae. The meal had a kosher menu for Trump.
During dinner, Ivanka thanked President Moon for hosting the delegation. She said she wanted to reaffirm the partnership between the U.S. and South Korea and the "maximum pressure campaign to ensure that the Korean Peninsula is denuclearized."
On Saturday, some South Korean media ran headlines quoting public comments at the banquet. Kookmin Daily’s top headline said: Ivanka Trump says "efforts by S. Korea, U.S. to pressure N. Korea have been effective." Donga Ilbo’s top headline quoted Trump as saying her "heart aches when thinking of the suffering of N. Koreans under repressive regime."
In Pyeongchang, Ivanka Trump sat in the audience along with South Korea’s first lady and Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha to watch the men’s big air final round at the Alpensia Ski Jumping Center. Then the U.S. delegation moved on to watch the men’s curling match, with the United States and Sweden competing for the gold.
The American delegation's four-day itinerary in South Korea will include more rooting for U.S. athletes and attendance at the closing ceremony Sunday evening, with a return to Washington on Monday.
There was some speculation that Ivanka Trump might encounter members of the North Korea delegation at the closing ceremony.
But officials said the chance of that is slim.
"There is no plan, nor will there be a chance, for a meeting between the North and the U.S. during their visit to South Korea for the closing ceremony," an anonymous official told South Korean media outlet Yonhap News on Friday.
U.S. officials said the same about the possibility of a meeting.
“As of right now, there's nothing planned,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters at Team USA House in Yonpyong Ski Resort.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.