Ivanka Trump at Olympics for politics, to back athletes

U.S. President Donald Trump’s daughter toured the 2018 Winter Olympics on Saturday, the morning after telling South Korea’s president that she would use her visit to the Pyeongchang Games to advocate maximum pressure on North Korea to halt its nuclear program.

Ivanka Trump, one of her father’s close advisers and a winter sports enthusiast herself, is leading the U.S. delegation at Sunday’s closing ceremony for the Pyeongchang Games. Under cloudy skies, she watched her first event Saturday morning — Big Air snowboarding — before heading over to the American team’s headquarters, USA House, to interact with some Olympians.

Among those she met: Garrett Hines, a former U.S. bobsledder and Army reservist.

“I heard you are part of the reserves. That’s incredible,” Trump said. “Thank you for your service, and thank you for serving as an inspiration to so many people in this capacity.”

Before coming to the Olympic city in northeastern South Korea, Trump met and dined in the capital with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who highlighted to her how the Olympics have served as a vehicle for dialogue between the two Koreas. Moon said the U.S. and South Korea should make use of the current mood of rapprochement between the Koreas in seeking denuclearization.

At a closed-door meeting before a banquet Friday night at the presidential compound, Moon told Trump that talks on denuclearization and the inter-Korean dialogue must move forward side by side, Moon’s press secretary, Yoon Young-chan, told reporters.

Trump responded by pushing for joint efforts by the U.S. and South Korea to apply maximum pressure on North Korea, Yoon said.

The meeting and Olympic visit come as the Trump administration announced sanctions on more than 50 vessels, shipping companies and trade businesses to turn up the pressure on North Korea. U.S. officials said the president had discussed the action with Moon ahead of the announcement in Washington.

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