The 2018 Winter Olympics officially kicked off on Friday, and in the Opening Ceremony on Friday, we saw a bit of controversy with the response to teams entering the stadium.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence promised days before his arrival in Pyeongchang, South Korea that America would hit North Korea with the "" to date as a result of tensions over nuclear and missile tests.
In Friday's ceremony, Pence was seen sitting near none other than Kim Yo Jong, the younger sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Vice President Mike Pence is sitting only a few feet away from Kim Yo Jong, who is the very powerful sister of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un during the winter Olympics #OpeningCeremony in South Korea. The two don't appear to have spoken to each other. pic.twitter.com/ZyZwFYou1W— David Hookstead (@dhookstead) February 9, 2018
Other reports corroborated the suggestion that Pence and his wife, Karen, were the only people in the VIP press box not to stand in recognition of the Korean Olympic delegation, which . And Voice of America later reported that Pence willingly opted to sit in the box, so as to be seen by North Korean officials, rather than simply sit with a delegation of only Team USA representatives.
Tonight @VP “could have sat with the US delegation and avoided the box but he chose not to...knowing the North Koreans would be seated behind him,” says a US official on Air Force Two. But Pence wanted to demonstrate that the “alliance was strong” by sitting with Moon and Abe.— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) February 9, 2018
According to BBC, the vice president, who at one point said he might consider meeting with North Korean officials during his time in South Korea, also skipped an Olympic dinner, where he was "due to share a table with North Korea's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-nam."
Mr. Pence and Kim Yong-nam were being hosted by (South Korea) President Moon (Jae-in) before the opening ceremony in Pyeongchang.
But the U.S. vice-president left the reception venue after five minutes, South Korea's Yonhap said.
While Mr. Moon and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe both shook hands with Mr. Kim, Mr. Pence did not, South Korean officials said.
This comes almost exactly four months after Pencebecause he disapproved of players peacefully protesting social injustice by kneeling during a pregame playing of the national anthem.