This will no doubt be greeted as another example of intransigence and wilful nastiness by the Trump regime, in the face of the inspiring events surrounding the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, where North and South Korea are at last putting aside their enmity and embracing a new era of peace, love and goodwill to all men.
From the Times (£):
The father of an American student who died after being held captive in North Korea will attend the Olympic opening ceremony in South Korea as a guest of the US vice-president, Mike Pence.
The presence of Fred Warmbier whose son, Otto, was returned to the US in a coma after 17 months in a Korean prison, could undermine efforts to use the Pyeongchang games to improve relations across the peninsula. Moon Jae-in, the South Korean president, said that the Winter Olympics would be an opportunity to build co-operation after a period of aggressive moves by the North.
However, the US has favoured a hardline approach to North Korea, and the Trump administration has been reluctant to endorse talks. Last week a spokesman for Mr Pence told Axios, the political website, that he would use the Games to “remind the world that everything the North Koreans do at the Olympics is a charade to cover up the fact that they are the most tyrannical and oppressive regime on the planet”.
Quite right. And - I surprise myself by saying this - good move by Mike Pence. If they're going to politicise the games - as they have done - then all's fair. It works both ways.