Homeland Security chief to lead US delegation to Paralympic Games

Homeland Security chief to lead US delegation to Paralympic Games
© Greg Nash

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenClinton calls for people to sign petition to help DACA recipient detained by ICE Hillicon Valley: Nunes sues Twitter for 0 million | Trump links tech giants to 'Radical Left Democrats' | Facebook settles suits over ad discrimination | Dems want answers over spread of New Zealand shooting video Nielsen calls for greater public-private collaboration on cyber threats MORE will lead the Trump administration's delegation to the opening ceremonies of the 2018 Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, according to a press release Tuesday.

Nielsen's appointment to lead the delegation next month follows other U.S. administrations that have sent representatives specifically in line with the messages promoted by the Paralympics.

In 2012, first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaSouthern Poverty Law Center head announces resignation Michelle Obama on 'Becoming': 'Sasha still hasn't read it' Michelle Obama seeks volunteers for local campaigns: There are 'no "off" years' MORE led the U.S. delegation as part of her nationwide anti-obesity campaign, while former President George W. Bush sent a delegation of disabled U.S. veterans, led by then-Veterans Affairs Secretary James Peake, to the games.

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The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Nielsen's attendance at the Paralympics follows the delegations led by Vice President Pence and Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpKushner to cooperate with Judiciary document requests Hillicon Valley: Kushner accused of using WhatsApp, personal email for official work | White House rejects request for Trump-Putin communications | Facebook left 'hundreds of millions' of passwords unsecured | Tech pressured to root out extremism Cummings says Ivanka Trump not preserving all official communications MORE, who attended the 2018 Winter Olympic Games' opening and closing ceremonies, respectively.

Pence initially planned to meet with top North Korean officials during his visit, but that meeting was eventually called off by North Korea after the Trump administration's newest round of sanctions targeting the country was announced.

The 2018 Olympics have resulted in a cooling of hostilities and newfound cooperation between South Korea and North Korea, which for the first time hosted a joint team comprised of athletes from the two nations.

Relations between the two countries have also led to North Korea's reported willingness to engage in talks with the United States, which the White House said this weekend would have to include a focus on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

“The United States, our Olympic Host the Republic of Korea, and the international community broadly agree that denuclearization must be the result of any dialogue with North Korea,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Sunday.