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White House: US eager for Olympics despite North Korea tensions

Europe, Europa
07.12.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Washington (dpa) - The United States plans to compete in the upcoming Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, despite this year‘s rise in nuclear tensions with North Korea, the White House said Thursday.

"The US looks forward to participating in the Winter Olympics in South Korea," White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders tweeted.

"The protection of Americans is our top priority and we are engaged with the South Koreans and other partner nations to secure the venues."

Asked about US participation in light of North Korea‘s repeated tests of nuclear devices and long-range missiles in recent months, Sanders had earlier told reporters at the White House that "no decision has been made on that."

In the briefing, she added that "the goal is to do so," before later tweeting to make it clear that there were no plans to keep US athletes home.

In a telephone call last week with South Korean President Moon Jae In, President Donald Trump vowed that the United States would send a "high-level delegation" to the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang in February despite North Korean actions.

Trump has engaged in name-calling with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, whom he has labelled "Little Rocket Man," and last month during a tour of Asia sought to galvanize regional opposition to Pyongyang‘s weapons development.

In September, Austria and France expressed security concerns for their athletes during the February 9-25 Winter Olympics.

South Korean authorities say they have encouraged North Korea to send a team to the Olympics, but their plans to participate are unknown.

 

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