WASHINGTON — When the sister of Kim Jong-un made her historic visit to the Winter Olympics in South Korea weeks in the past, announcing not anything but commanding noisy press insurance, the South Korean information media quick called her “North Korea’s Ivanka.”
Now, President Trump is sending the actual Ivanka.
The query is whether or not Ms. Trump, with her style enterprise glamour, can counter the information media narrative set by means of a mysterious North Korean woman, Kim Yo-jong, who is a director of her totalitarian authorities’ propaganda and agitation department.
White House officers balk at any parallel among the dictator’s sister and the president’s daughter. But the contrast is plain, if invidious, given their family pedigrees.
And Ms. Trump might also gain by any other comparison: to Vice President Mike Pence, who sat near Ms. Kim at some stage in the hole right of the Olympics and appeared unable to strike the equal chord as she did with South Koreans. He later neglected out on an assembly with North Korean officials after they canceled on the remaining minute.
Administration officials renowned that Ms. Trump, who will arrive in South Korea on Friday to observe the ultimate rite of the Games, may want to clean some of the tensions that flared all through the vp’s visit, even if they insist that isn’t the motive of her experience.
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While Mr. Pence met with North Korean defectors and condemned Mr. Kim for human rights abuses, officials stated Ms. Trump could maintain her consciousness on reaffirming the bonds between the United States and South Korea and cheering on American athletes. “Their talent, force, grit, and spirit embodies American excellence,” she said in an announcement on Wednesday.
On Friday evening, Ms. Trump, 36, is scheduled to have dinner with South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-in, who attempted desperately to booking a meeting between Mr. Pence and the North Korean delegation. There are not any plans for Ms. Trump to satisfy with all and sundry from North Korea at some stage in her 3-day visit, although an official declined to rule out the opportunity.
Ms. Trump will travel with the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and Allison Hooker, a National Security Council legit who focuses on Korean affairs, among others. The council has briefed Ms. Trump approximately the political situation at the Korean Peninsula, in line with officials.
Administration officers stated she became fully organized to discuss Mr. Trump’s “maximum strain” coverage with Mr. Moon, the South Korean news media or with North Korean officials, have to she run into any.
Simply with the aid of virtue of her age and background, Ms. Trump will assignment a greater reachable photograph than Mr. Pence, 58. He arrived with a directive from Mr. Trump to blunt the propaganda campaign of North Korea, which has used the Olympics as a type of olive branch to the South.
While the president legal Mr. Pence to fulfill with the North Koreans, he insisted that any meeting is held privately, away from cameras, and that Mr. Pence deliver the identical harsh message in non-public that he added in public.
Mr. Pence reinforced his difficult-line photograph through final seated all through the whole ceremony whilst the target audience stood for the unified Korean Olympic team. He disregarded Ms. Kim and any other top North Korean reliable, Kim Yong-Nam, who had been seated at the back of him in Mr. Moon’s box.
American officers said they believed these gestures — on top of Mr. Pence’s risk of recent sanctions against the North, which Mr. Pence introduced in Japan, on his way to South Korea — triggered the North Koreans to rethink the meeting with the VP.
Administration officers stated they had been thrilled with Mr. Pence’s unyielding approach. Some stated that the South Koreans did now not help the surroundings by way of thrusting Mr. Pence into conditions for which he became not organized — like seating him so close to Ms. Kim at the whole ceremony.
Still, his opinions in South Korea had been terrible, and the canceled meeting turned into a selected unhappiness to Mr. Moon, whose approach of engaging North Korea is putting him increasingly at odds with the White House, and its maximum pressure campaign.
To the quantity that North Korea and the USA are engaged in a competition for the affections of the South Korean president, some analysts felt Mr. Pence’s journey became an overlooked opportunity.
“I don’t suppose the Pence journey was a failure, but it reaffirmed how tough and rigid the U.S. Function is,” said Evan S. Medeiros, a former Asia adviser to President Barack Obama. “It’s great if you may place a velvet glove over the iron fist.”
While Mr. Medeiros played down the larger implications of Ms. Trump’s visit, he said she became probable to be a hit with the South Korean public. “I can see her resonating with South Koreans,” he said.
The selection to ship Ms. Trump grew out of a verbal exchange among Mr. Trump and Mr. Moon, officers stated, in which the South Korean chief pleaded with the president to send excessive-stage delegations to the outlet and remaining ceremonies of the Games in Pyeongchang.
Mr. Trump became down Mr. Moon’s invitation to go himself because he was in South Korea in November. But he agreed to take into account sending a member of the family, like the first girl, Melania Trump, or his daughter Ivanka. Last month, officials said, the president settled on his daughter, who’s also his senior adviser.
In a few approaches, Ms. Trump is a natural match to attend the Winter Games. She is an avid skier, a sport she picked up from her mom, Ivana, who skied competitively for what became then Czechoslovakia. Ms. Trump, buddies say, has watched the Olympics with her daughter, Arabella, taking specific interest in the exquisite-G event.