Selfies and sanctions: Ivanka Trump flashes hearts and smiles at the Winter Olympics - but echoes her father's tough-love stance on North Korea  

11:41 • 24.02.18



Ivanka Trump played America's cheerleader at the Winter Olympics on Friday, when she flashed a heart sign for Team USA during the snowboarding.   

But Ivanka ensured she kept on message when it came to politics and during an earlier dinner with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, she pledged to maintain her father's 'maximum-pressure campaign' to push for North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons, the Daily Mail reports.


Today, the First Daughter was pictured, in a Team USA hat and red snowsuit, cheering and smiling as she watched snowboarders vying for medals at the men's Big Air competition at the Pyeongchang Olympics.


She was joined in the stands by South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Kim Jung-sook, International Olympic Committee member and 1998 ice hockey gold medalist Angela Ruggiero, as well as a rather gloomy looking White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.


The trio watched as Team USA's Kyle Mack landed himself an Olympic silver medal in the men's snowboard big air, with some impressive stunts and twisting leap called the ‘Bloody Dracula’. Gold went to Canada’s Sebastien Toutant and bronze to Britain’s Billy Morgan.


Ivanka, who will lead the U.S. delegation at the closing ceremony Sunday, was later seen posing for selfies and chatting with Kim Jung-suk.


The first daughter's arrival in the country is a deliberate riposte to North Korea after Kim Jong-un sent his sister Kim Yo-jong to the opening ceremony of the Winter Games, along with an army of 100 cheerleaders, completely upstaging Vice President Mike Pence in the process.


Interestingly, Yo-jong was referred to by many as 'the Ivanka of North Korea' - as both wield a powerful influence over the respective leaders of their countries.


Last night, shortly after landing, Ivanka met President Moon Jae-in for dinner where the Korean leader joked that whenever he spoke to Donald Trump on the phone, he'd ask about ticket sales for the Olympics, according to the New York Times .  


Moon also highlighted the importance of easing tensions between the North and South, and credited: “President Trump's strong support for inter-Korean dialogue.”


“North Korea's participation in the Winter Olympic Games has served as an opportunity for us to engage in active discussions between the two Koreas, and this has led to lowering of tensions on the peninsula,” he said.


Ivanka responded saying she was in South Korea to 'reaffirm our bonds of friendship and partnership' but also 'to reaffirm our commitment to our maximum-pressure campaign to ensure that the Korean Peninsula is denuclearized,' according to a media pool report.


White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders echoed her words later, saying that the president wouldn't be 'soft or weak' on Pyongyang, despite an apparent Korean detente as the North takes part in the Winter Games, just 30 miles (50 kilometres) from the peninsula's heavily armed border.

 





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