(CNN)South Korea may be touting the Winter Games, which begin on Friday, as the “Peace Olympics,” but that hasn’t stopped the US and North Korea seeking to score political points against each other.
In a move sure to annoy Pyongyang, US Vice President Mike Pence will take the father of the late Otto Warmbier, an American student who was jailed in North Korea, to the Opening Ceremony, the Washington Post reported Sunday.
Meanwhile, North Korea is sending Kim Yong Nam, the head of the country’s parliament, who is one of the most senior North Korean officials to ever visit South Korea.
On the eve of the Olympics, Pyongyang will stage its own international show with a parade of hundreds of missiles and rockets, sending the world a clear message that its military might is not to be underestimated.
The political point-scoring between the US and North Korea started well in advance of the Games.
During a highly emotive section of US President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech last week, the President called out North Korea’s leadership, with special reference to the human cost. “No regime has oppressed its own citizens more totally or brutally than the cruel dictatorship in North Korea,” said Trump.
The speech, which was attended by both the parents of Otto Warmbier, Cindy and Fred, andNorth Korean defector Ji Seong-ho, saw Trump dismiss recent diplomatic efforts, casting the threat posed by Pyongyang as ever present.