Thursday, 23 November, 2017

Culture Minister: No Country Considering Opting out of PyeongChang Olympics

Katie Ormerod claimed the silver medal at the snowboard big air World Cup in Milan on Saturday Katie Ormerod claimed the silver medal at the snowboard big air World Cup in Milan on Saturday
Lucia Summers | 15 November, 2017, 12:30

President Moon Jae-in in a Berlin address in July called for the participation of North Korea in the PyeongChang Olympics and urged Pyongyang "to utilize these series of precious events held in Asia as an opportunity for building peace on the Korean Peninsula, in Northeast Asia, and the world".

The resolution was adopted with a bang of the gavel by Assembly President Miroslav Lajcak on Monday to loud applause. The truce is an Olympic tradition that dates back to the ancient Olympic Games.

Tokyo will host the 2020 Summer Olympics, while Beijing will host the 2022 Winter Olympics.

"If we can harmonise with each other, it will be a new beginning of peace on the Korean peninsula". This resolution also sends a message to North Korea.

North Korean figure skaters Ryom Tae-Ok and Kim Ju-sik qualified for the pairs competition last month, however.

A record 94 countries have expressed interest in sending athletes to next year's Winter Olympics, although North Korea have yet to indicate whether they will attend the Games. Since their competing in the Olympics is both an obvious right and a duty, it would be even stranger for them not to compete. "At the same time, we do know that this may be a very last-minute decision by North Korea", said South Korean Sports Minister Do Jong-hwan at an Olympics preview event in NY. The sight reminded people of the true meaning of the Olympics.

Katie Ormerod in action in Milan
Credit
2017 Action Plus  Pierre Teyssot
Katie Ormerod in action in Milan Credit 2017 Action Plus Pierre Teyssot

"We're incredibly excited about the Leyard technology we will be using for our coverage of the PyeongChang Games", said Michael Sheehan, coordinating director of NBC Olympics, in the announcement.

The resolution, also known as the "Olympic Truce", is adopted every two years ahead of the Summer and Winter Olympic games to declare a truce and safe passage for all participants during the athletic events.

Representing the Navy as a torchbearer was Lieutenant Commander Kim Gyu-hwan, who played a key role in a successful rescue mission involving South Korean crewmen who were kidnapped by Somali pirates in 2011.

The Winter Games kick off on February 9 and run through February 25.

"Just as the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul contributed to the dismantling of the eastern and western camps and the Cold War era, the Government could promote peace on the Korean peninsula through the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and Paralympics, and further promote peace and cooperation on the Korean Peninsula". This requires a proactive change of attitude toward treating the Pyeongchang Olympics as a starting point for resolving the crisis on the Korean Peninsula.

Another reason for Olympic officials' optimism over possible North Korea attendance in Pyeongchang is that leader Kim Jong Un is a well-known sports fan, and he has spent heavily on sport in connection with his bid to lift living standards in the North. The resolution states that the Olympic Truce will last from February 2 to March 25. There is no definitive interpretation of whether military exercises are included in the Olympic Truce. We hope that this will be accompanied by an attempt to find a solution linked to China's proposal of "simultaneous suspension" of North Korea's nuclear weapon and missile provocations and the South Korea-US joint military exercises or an opportunity to resume inter-Korean dialogue.

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