HONG KONG – The American envoy to the United Nations, Nikki R. Haley, explained on Wednesday that it had been an “open concern” whether American athletes would be able to show up at the Olympics in South Korea in February offered the tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
The Winter Games are to be held Feb. 9-25 in Pyeongchang, a metropolis about 50 miles from the demilitarized area that separates North and South Korea.
Asked on Fox Information if athletes from the United States would be able to compete, Ms. Haley explained: “There’s an open concern. I have not really heard anything about this, but I do know in the talks that people have got – whether it’s Jerusalem or North Korea – it’s about, how do we protect the U.S. citizens in the region?”
Tensions have been warming up on the Korean Peninsula after a two-month lull, with North Korea launching a missile last week that specialists said showed the ability of hitting a lot of the continental USA.
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Then, on Monday, the United States began military drills with South Korea that were to add simulated strikes in the North’s nuclear and missile sites, leading Pyongyang to accuse Washington of pushing the peninsula “to the brink of nuclear battle.”
Addressing the strained relations and their impact on the Olympics, Ms. Haley explained the Trump administration would try to “find out the easiest way” to safeguard American athletes participating in the Games.