Vice President Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence will lead the U.S. delegation to the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, the White House said late Tuesday.
A senior White House official told Fox News that the vice president is attending the Olympic Games, which will be held in Peongchang from Feb. 9-25, to reinforce the strong U.S. presence on the Korean Peninsula and send a clear signal to the North Korean regime.
Pence is expected to stop in Alaska to review intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) defense systems, and in Japan. His visit to Japan, according to a senior official, is to reaffirm leaders there, and in South Korea, of the U.S. commitment to stability in the region.
"The Vice President is traveling to the Olympic Games in South Korea to reinforce the strong U.S. presence on the Korean Peninsula and send a clear message of American resolve to the North Korean regime,” Pence's deputy chief of staff, Jarrod Agen, said in a statement . “The Vice President will reaffirm to the leaders of Japan and South Korea the United States' unwavering commitment to our allies and to deter and defend against the North Korean threat. In addition to showing support for our U.S. athletes, the Vice President will show his confidence in and appreciation for our U.S. military stationed in the region.”
The vice president is expected to be joined by the first daughter, Ivanka Trump, though her attendance has not yet been confirmed.
On a call with South Korean President Moon Jae-In on Nov. 30, President Trump committed to sending a high-level delegation to the Winter Games.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Tuesday that the full delegation will be announced in the “coming days.”
The State Department said Tuesday that there were no plans for U.S. officials and North Korean to meet during the Olympic Games.
Fox News' John Roberts contributed to this report.