Forget an Olympic truce. The rhetoric war between North Korea and the Trump administration hasn’t skipped a beat in Pyeongchang.
In its first reports about the Games, North Korea’s state-run media slammed U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Saturday for what it called ‘shameful’ and ‘snobbish’ behavior not in line with the spirit of the Olympics. Pence fired off a tweet calling the North’s participation in the Games a ‘propaganda charade’ and saying the world must not ‘turn a blind eye to the oppression and threats of the Kim regime.’
Pence and the North Koreans have been an awkward presence at the Games to say the least.
The United State Vice President Mike Pence, right, and his wife Karen Pence applaud during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, on Friday
Pence fired off a tweet, on Friday, calling the North’s participation in the Games a ‘propaganda charade’
Though it has no real medal contenders and sent only 22 athletes, North Korea has turned out to be a major political player in Pyeongchang. It has dispatched a delegation of nearly 500 people – mostly musicians, dancers, and an all-female cheering squad – and has been pushing its participation as a sign of willingness to work with Seoul, through greater exchanges, to ease what has been a year of very high tensions on the peninsula.
To that end, athletes from both Koreas marched together into the Olympic Stadium on Friday behind a blue-and-white ‘unification” flag. They are fielding a joint women’s ice hockey team. And on Friday, Kim Yo Jong, the younger sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un himself, arrived for the first-ever visit to the South by a member of the ruling Kim dynasty.
President Donald Trump tweeted his congratulations to South Korea for playing host a day before the Games began, but had been silent on the topic since.