U.S. Vice President Mike Pence arrived in Japan on Tuesday at the start of an Asia trip that takes him to the Winter Olympics in South Korea, saying he had no plans to talk to North Korean officials but leaving open the chance of a meeting.
The United States believes North Korea, which has sent a team to the Games, is using the event for crude propaganda. As his guest for the opening ceremony on Friday, Pence is bringing the father of Otto Warmbier, an American student who was imprisoned in North Korea for 17 months and died in June 2017 from lack of oxygen and blood to the brain.
Pence will also visit a memorial for 46 South Korean sailors killed in 2010 in the sinking of a warship that Seoul blamed on a North Korean torpedo attack.
“The vice president will be there with Mr. Warmbier at the opening ceremony… to remind the world of the atrocities that happen in North Korea,” a White House official said on Monday.