The Olympics have long been billed as a space where politics are put aside and the spirit of competition reigns regardless of what is happening elsewhere in the world.
Reality, of course, has always been much different as the modern Olympics navigated both the literal and figurative wars of the 20th century before plunging headlong into the uncertainty of the 21st.
The current Olympiad presents plenty of political intrigue with the events taking place just miles from
How you view Pence’s actions during the opening days of these Winter Games most likely depends on your political affiliation. But it also might depend on whether you believe the Olympics can ever truly operate in a political vacuum
Pence does not appear to be one of those who believe they can.
“There’s no question the message the administration is trying to send here,” NBC’s Katie Couric said after discussing Pence’s political maneuvering during the Opening Ceremony.
To be fair, North and South Korea’s surprising decision to put 72 years of division aside for 17 days has put Pence in a couple of awkward positions so far. Prior to Friday’s Opening Ceremony, the vice president attended a reception thrown by South Korean president Moon Jae-In and did not interact with either of North Korea’s representatives, who were also invited. Initial reports indicated Pence snubbed the North Korean delegation, but later U.S. officials pushed back on that narrative, stating Pence simply wasn’t in an area to greet Kim Yong Nam, North Korea’s nominal head of state.
Pence and his wife were later seated in Moon’s box for the Opening Ceremony just in front of Kim Yo Jong,
Mingling problems aside, it’s been evident that Pence headed to Asia with a clear plan. He has pledged to make sure that no one loses sight of the real North Korea, a regime that NBC’s Katie Couric described as “universally considered one of the most barbaric and brutal regimes in the world” as the network’s coverage opened on Friday night.
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