According to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, remain on track despite rising tensions in the region. Less than 200 days before the Games, the IOC stated that they would be closely following rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
IOC keeping an eye on international tensions in Asia
“We are monitoring the situation on the Korean peninsula and the region very closely. The IOC is keeping itself informed about the developments,” said an IOC spokesperson. “We continue working with the organizing committee on the preparations of these Games which continue to be on track.”
International authorities are concerned that US athletes and officials, as well as those from allied nations, may become the target of a North Korean attack. Earlier this week, United States President Donald Trump, warned North Korea that they will suffer “fire and fury” if threats against the US and its allies continue. This came as a result of North Korea’s progress in the development of nuclear weapons and missiles capable of reaching US mainland.
Reports reveal that Kim Jong-un’s regime is now capable of miniaturizing a long-range missile. Olympic venues in PyeongChang are only about 100km from the demilitarized zone. Due to this proximity, US authorities, along with its allies’ governments, will need to tighten security measures, or to recommend athletes and officials not to attend.
North Korea can still participate in the Games
Since the Games were announced back in 2011, hopes regarding the pacification of the Peninsula raised. Projects for a joint team and for some events being staged in North Korea were even suggested.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in invited North Korea to take part in the Winter Olympics and has insisted that doors will be open until the very last minute. Most North Korean athletes however, didn’t reached the qualifying standards but figure skating pair Ryom Tae-ok and Kim Ju-sik still have a chance to qualify in September.