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 NielsenDHS officials called lawmaker visit to migrant detention facility a 'Hill stunt' White House fires DHS general counsel Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network 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 ObamaTrump: House Judiciary should investigate Obama Netflix deal instead of his business 2020 is not a family affair, for a change Former speechwriter says Michelle Obama came up with 'when they go low we go high' line 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 TrumpTrump awards Yankees legend Mariano Rivera the Medal of Freedom The Hill's Morning Report - Trump takes 2020 roadshow to New Mexico 2020 is not a family affair, for a change 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.