Amid ongoing tensions with North Korea over its proliferation of nuclear weapons, Vice President Mike Pence will lead a U.S. delegation to the Winter Olympics in neighboring South Korea.
According to a senior administration official, Pence will not only be in Pyeongchang to support the American athletes who are participating in the games, he and second lady Karen Pence will also be there to reinforce the strong U.S. presence on the Korean Peninsula and send a clear signal to the North Korean government, The Hill reported.
The Winter Olympics will be held in Pyeongchang from Feb. 9 to 25.
On Tuesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that President Donald Trump would officially announce members of the U.S. delegation “in the coming days.”
In an effort to ease strained relations, North Korean officials recently met with their counterparts from South Korea and agreed to send a delegation of athletes to the winter games.
Pence also plans to visit Alaska, where he will review intercontinental ballistic missile defense systems. An additional stop is planned in Japan, where he will reassure officials that the U.S. is committed to regional security, just as he intends to do in South Korea.
Last year, Pence traveled to South Korea and Japan to declare that the U.S. was ending its “era of strategic patience” with North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.