Due to the escalating tensions between the United States and North Korea, U.S. participation in the 2018 Winter Olympics remains an “open question,” said U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.
Speaking to Fox News, Haley addressed a concern that many Americans, especially the Olympic athletes themselves, have been chewing over. The Olympic Games are scheduled to take place from February 9-25 in Pyeongchang, South Korea—only 50 miles from the North Korean border.
“What we will do is make sure we are taking every precaution possible to make sure that [U.S. athletes are] safe and to know everything that’s going on around them,” Haley said Wednesday on Fox News’ “The Story with Marth MacCallum.”
“So, I think that’s something where the administration is going to come together and find out the best way to make sure they’re protected,” she added.
With the Games a little over two months away, tensions on the Korean peninsula are at an all-time high. The United States and South Korea are at the moment in the process of partaking in massive joint military exercises that involve hundreds of planes, while North Korea has threatened that nuclear war is inevitable.
An unnamed Foreign Minister spokesman, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that North Korean rhetoric has been influenced by the “bellicose remarks” of senior U.S. officials, including CIA Director Mike Pompeo. His remarks, said North Korea, reveal an intent by the United States to go to war. North Korea responded in its customarily grandiloquent style.
“We do not wish for a war but shall not hide from it, and should the U.S. miscalculate our patience and light the fuse for a nuclear war, we will surely make the U.S. dearly pay the consequences with our mighty nuclear fore which we have consistently strengthened,” the North Korean spokesman said.
Analysts have pointed out the North Korea has issued similar rhetoric in the past, and Haley, when asked whether it would be safe for American athletes to compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, said, “it depends on what’s going on at the time in the country.”
“I think those are conversations that we’re going to have to have,” she added. “But what have we always said? We don’t fear anything. We live our lives.”
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