The White House has announced its list of delegates to attend the opening ceremony of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games that are set to begin in South Korea in a little more than one week.
In addition to Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence, who were already announced, the delegation to the Olympics will include the following: House Foreign Affairs Committee Rep. Ed Royce, Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, retired Gen. James D. Thurman, U.S. diplomat in Seoul Marc E. Knapper, and 2002 ladies figure skating gold medalist Sarah Hughes.
The Games in PyeonChang are set against the backdrop of tensions that have heightened on the Korean Peninsula in recent months. South Korea, along with the U.S. and their allies, have been applying diplomatic pressure, as well as the threat of military force, to efforts to keep North Korea from developing a nuclear weapon.
Renewed hope in the peace effort was created however, when North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un announced he would be sending North Korean athletes to compete in the Games. It was also announced that North and South Korea would march under a single, unified flag, as well as field a join women’s ice hockey team.
The Olympics are set to begin February 9 and run through February 25.