Team USA may not attend 2018 Winter Olympics over fears of war with North Korea
THE US may not send athletes to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang because of North Korea’s threat of war, the Ambassador claimed.
US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, has said that it remains an “open question” whether to send athletes to the event in South Korea which takes place between Feb 9 and 25.
There are concerns that safety of US participants in the games could be at risk if they attend because of the threats of war from Kim Jong-un’s communist state.
The ambassador said that President Donald Trump and his administration were still working on trying to “find out the best way” to make sure that athletes safety was protected during the international event.
She said: “This is a perfect opportunity for all of them to go and do something they have worked so hard for.
“What we will do is, we will make sure that we’re taking every precaution possible to make sure that they’re safe and to know everything that’s going on around them.”
However, she added the US was still looking at whether it was safe to attend the games given the instability surrounding the region given the close proximity of the Olympics to North Korea.
Asked whether she could guarantee the US’s attendance, she said: “There’s an open question.
“I have not heard anything about that, but I do know in the talks that we have — whether it’s Jerusalem or North Korea — it’s about, how do we protect the US citizens in the area?”
Fears for the safety of Americans going to the South Korean games comes after a number of missile tests launched by Pyongyang in recent months.
A member of the US Senate’s Armed Services Committee also warned this week that families of US military should leave South Korea due to fears war between America and North Korea is “getting close”.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has warned that the rising tensions between the the US and Kim Jong-un’s corrupt regime means serious preparations for war need to be taken, including evacuating the region.
He said: “I want the Pentagon to stop sending dependents and I think it’s now time to start moving American dependents out of South Korea.
“We’re getting close to a military conflict because North Korea is marching toward marrying up the technology of an ICBM with a nuclear weapon on top that can not only get to America, but deliver the weapon.
“We’re running out of time.”
If US athletes are not at the 2018 Winter Olympics, it would be the second major country not to be in attendance.
Russia will not be competing in Pyeongchang after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) chose to extend a ban on the country’s involvement in the games.
The punishment was issued after a report from the IOC concluded that Russia was guilty of state sponsored doping.