Fred Warmbier, attending the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, as a guest of U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, said during excerpts of an interview announced Saturday that he doubts the symbolic significance of Northern korean involvement in the games.
“We have to made this in framework, in the spirit of the Olympics, and why we’re now, ” Warmbier said in a preview clip of an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt. “And so when you employ just the way it is they’re not really participate in public Olympics. Their jocks are not exchanging minds with other competitors in the Olympic Village or really participating, so that’s a political statement.”
Warmbier and Pence sat inside a VIP box with North Korean supervisor Kim Jong Un’s sister Kim Yo Jong for Friday’s opening ceremony at the Pyeongchang Stadium.
Warmbier said it wasn’t hard to watch Kim Yo Jong savoring the occurrence from only a few feet down. “She’s in the Kim family, ” he said.
Earlier Friday, Warmbier and Pence met with a group of Northern korean defectors, and Pence alarmed about a probable North Korean “charm offensive” during the games.
But Warmbier claimed his attendance in South Korea was “not political.” North Korea’s treatment of his son, he said, “is their standard — that’s the action they do business.”
Much has been made of Olympics reconciliation between North koreans and South Korea, which are still separated by struggle. Competitors from both nations penetrated Pyeongchang Stadium as a unified squad sharing a pennant for Friday’s opening ceremony. The Korean women’s hockey squad is also the first in Olympic biography to peculiarity participates from both countries.
“NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt” will air the full interview with Fred Warmbier Saturday night.