The Winter Olympics began on February 8 in South Korea, with Vice President Mike Pence leading the Team USA delegation.
Pence was seated next to Kim Jong-un’s sister at the reception.
Many people wondered if the two would greet each other.
The answer? Nope!
From Daily Caller:
Vice President Mike Pence is steering clear of North Korean officials at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
South Korea hosted an Olympic reception prior to the start of the Games Friday. Pence was expected to sit across from North Korea’s ceremonial leader Kim Yong Nam at the head table, but that didn’t happen. Pence stopped by for a quick five-minute visit, during which he greeted everyone at the table with a firm handshake, everyone except the representative from North Korea, according to a Washington Post reporter.
Pence and Kim reportedly avoided making eye contact, according to South Korean media.
At the opening ceremony, the vice president was seated only a few feet from North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s younger sister Kim Yo Jong, but the two did not interact.
BBC has more:
Who is Kim Yo-jong?
The highest profile member of the North Korean delegation to the Games, she is the first immediate member of the North’s ruling family to visit the South since the 1950-1953 Korean war.
Ms Kim, who is said to be very close to her brother, was promoted to the North’s powerful politburo last year.
She is on a US sanctions list over alleged links to human rights abuses in North Korea.
Ms Kim is thought to be about 30 years old, around four years younger than her brother.
That wasn’t the only Pence Olympic story upon which the media concentrated.
Team USA features two openly gay athletes. Adam Rippon, a figure skater, is being hailed as a ‘hero’ by the left for refusing to meet Pence, who leads the American delegation.
Rippon accuses Pence of ‘funding gay therapy.’ Of course, that’s false.
From Daily Wire:
Openly gay Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon is being hailed as a hero for refusing to meet with Vice President Mike Pence, whom he accused of “funding gay conversion therapy,” despite Pence’s repeated efforts to respond to Rippon’s claims and clear the air.
USA Today called the interaction a “bizarre battle,” and implied that Pence is locked in a feud with an Olympic athlete, even though it seems it’s Rippon who would prefer to stand by an incorrect statement rather than sit down with the high profile official he’s accused — wrongly, according to Pence’s office — of supporting a horrific practice involving electroshock therapy.
“You mean Mike Pence, the same Mike Pence that funded gay conversion therapy? I’m not buying it,” Rippon told reporters when Pence was announced as the administration’s choice for top Olympic delegate.
Pence’s office reportedly balked at the statement, and issued an immediate rebuttal, telling USA Today that “The Vice President is proud to lead the U.S. delegation to the Olympics and support America’s incredible athletes,” and that “this accusation is totally false and has no basis in fact. Despite these misinformed claims, the vice president will be enthusiastically supporting all the U.S. athletes competing next month in Pyeongchang.”
The Veep’s office even, it seems, reached out to Rippon in an effort to smooth things over.
“[Pence] was so concerned about the criticism he received from U.S. Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon that his staff went to the extraordinary length of asking the U.S. Olympic Committee to set up a conversation between the two — an offer Rippon turned down,” USA Today reported, hailing Rippon as “not backing down” on Twitter.
Rippon’s claims are, apparently, based on a rumor that circulated during the 2016 presidential campaign that, while running for Congress, Pence supported — and even suggested funding — “gay conversion therapy,” a strange idea from Evangelical circles in the early 2000s that claimed homosexuality could be “cured” by inpatient psychological treatment, and sometimes included electroshock therapy.
But even Snopes admits that Pence’s website doesn’t make any claims of conversion therapy efficacy, nor does it say the vice president supports anything remotely in line with electroshock therapy.
[Note: This post was written by John S. Roberts]