Top North Korean general to attend Winter Olympics closing ceremony

Remigio Civitarese
Febbraio 23, 2018

Incidentally, Ivanka Trump, daughter of the US President Donald Trump and White House advisor, will also be present at the closing ceremony when the North Korean delegates visit the country.

The opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics was attended by Kim Jong-un's sister Kim Yo-jong, who is also blacklisted by the US. James Risch, the chairman of Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia, and Counterterrorism; Gen. Vincent Brooks, commander of United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command and US Forces Korea; Chargé d'Affaires at the US Embassy Seoul Mark Knapper; and Sgt. Shauna Rohbock, a former Winter Olympian, current Team USA coach for the bobsled team and a member of the US National Guard.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in is likely to meet Pyongyang's delegation during its trip, Yonhap news agency cited the presidential office as saying. Kim Yo-jong, the younger sister of the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence were set to meet on February 10 at the Blue House, but the North pulled out at the last minute.

There's another opportunity for an awkward encounter at the closing ceremony.

United States officials said later that Pence and North Korean officials had planned to meet secretly during the Games, but that Pyongyang scrapped the talks at the last minute after he criticized the "murderous regime".

It added that "following a comprehensive assessment, the government of Japan strongly suspects that they conducted ship-to-ship transfers banned" by the UN Security Council resolutions. She traveled in a delegation of four with 18 staff members.

Kim Yo Jong and her entourage stayed at the Walkerhill Hotel, a five-star riverside hotel in eastern Seoul.

Ahn was excluded from competing in his native South Korea after the International Olympic Committee refused to grant him an invitation amid its vetting of Russia's athletes for possible doping links.

Kim Yo Jong and the North's nominal head of state were the most senior officials to visit the South in more than a decade.

Using money from the Inter-Korean Cooperation Fund (IKCF), South Korea spent KRW130 million (USD$120,900) on accommodation for the delegation at the five-star Grand Walkerhill hotel in Seoul, KRW50 million (USD$46,245) on transportation, and an additional KRW50 million on meals.

USA officials said the North Koreans later cancelled a meeting that had been scheduled for the following day.

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