Seoul, Feb 22 (AFP): Ivanka Trump is set to attend the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics in South Korea on Sunday in the latest high-profile visit to Games which have been dominated by the North Korea crisis.
The trip by US President Donald Trump's eldest daughter -- who is also one of his advisers -- comes in the wake of a visit to the Pyeongchang Games by North Korea's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam and Kim Yo Jong, sister of leader Kim Jong Un.
"The upcoming visit by adviser Ivanka is intended to celebrate the successful hosting of the Pyeongchang Olympics and highlight the mutual understanding of the South Korea-US alliance," Noh Kyu-duk, spokesman for the foreign ministry in Seoul, said Tuesday, according to the Yonhap news agency.
Trump is expected to arrive in South Korea on Friday, the agency added, quoting Noh as saying her detailed itinerary will be released by the United States.
When asked if North Korea would be on the agenda for any potential talks during Ivanka Trump's visit, Noh said, according to Yonhap: "Issues of mutual interest could naturally be on the table during the process of the visit."
There has already been a high-profile meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and the North Korean delegation, during which Kim Jong Un's sister passed on his invitation for Moon to visit Pyongyang for a summit.
Despite the thaw in ties between the two Koreas, Washington has said it will maintain its campaign of "maximum pressure" on Pyongyang and insists there are no differences with Seoul on how to handle the North.
The Games' opening ceremony saw US Vice President Mike Pence and the North Korean representatives seated in the same box, but they did not interact.
They had planned to meet secretly while in South Korea, but US officials said Pyongyang scrapped the plan after Pence denounced North Korea's "murderous regime".
Tensions rose rapidly last year over the North's development of nuclear weapons and intercontinental missiles, with President Trump and Kim Jong Un exchanging personal insults.
But the North's participation in the Games has led to an easing in tensions on the Korean peninsula in recent weeks