Vice President Mike Pence sat near North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s sister Kim Yo Jong at the Olympic opening ceremony on Friday, during which the two reportedly avoided eye-contact despite being only a few feet away from each other and, at one point, she appeared to glance at him contemptuously.
An aide to the vice president told CNN that Pence “and our team were aware she’d be in attendance. A primary purpose of the trip was to show a united front with our allies in Japan and South Korea in support of a denuclearized Korean Peninsula. The VP sat with Moon and Abe in the box after days of meetings with both leaders.”
Local media reports that while the two only sat several feet away from each other, they avoided looking directly at each other.
The scornful look from Kim Yo Jong comes as peace has temporarily descended upon the Korean peninsula for South Korea’s hosting of the 2018 Olympic games.
Pence also reportedly skipped a dinner on Friday where he was scheduled to sit at the same table as North Korea’s ceremonial head of state, Kim Yong-nam. Local media reports that Pence appeared at the dinner hosted by South Korean President Moon Jae-in for approximately five minutes before leaving and without shaking hands with Kim.