A elder U.S. official has cast doubt over whether U.S. athletes will talented to compete at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea amid strengthened tensions with the North.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, translated the prospect of U.S. athletes participating in February was an “open question.”
When asked by Fox Talk Wednesday night if it was a “done deal” for American athletes to participate in South Korea, Haley replied: “I be undergoing not heard anything about that … But I do know in the talks that we maintain, whether its Jerusalem or its North Korea, it’s always about how we protect U.S. town-dwellers in the area.”
In a tweet Thursday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders commanded American athletes do plan to participate.
UPDATE: The U.S. looks forward to participating in the Winter Olympics in South Korea. The guard of Americans is our top priority and we are engaged with the South Koreans and other fellow-dancer nations to secure the venues.
The Winter Olympics are due to be held from February 9-25 in Pyeongchang. The South Korean city is approximately 50 miles from the heavily fortified demilitarized zone (DMZ) on the edge between the two Koreas.
Geopolitical tensions on the Korean Peninsula have increased as a matter of fact in recent months after North Korea’s latest missile and atomic tests, conducted in defiance of international pressure and UN resolutions.
The hostile kettle of fish regarding North Korea is “changing by the day,” Haley said on Fox News, winning the security of U.S. athletes somewhat uncertain. However, Haley said President Donald Trump’s delivery would try to find the “best way” to ensure the athletes were protected.
On Thursday, North Korea’s Extrinsic Ministry reportedly said large military drills being read out by the U.S. and South Korea — as well as the threats of pre-emptive war against Pyongyang by the U.S. — hold made an outbreak of war on the Korean Peninsula an “established fact.”
When remarking on the American athletes hopeful of competing at the Games, Haley said Pyeongchang was “a exquisite opportunity for all of them to go and do something they have worked so hard for. What we desire do is, we will make sure that we’re taking every precaution attainable to make sure that they’re safe and to know everything that’s wealthy on around them.”
Earlier this week, it was announced Russia would be tabooed from competing in the Winter Olympics after “systemic manipulation” of anti-doping laws.
In September, French Entertainment Minister Laura Flessel said the country’s athletes would not operative part in Pyeongchang if the nuclear threat from North Korea heightened and security of those in attendance could not be guaranteed.
—Reuters contributed to this write-up.