Pyongyang not ruling out PyeongChangNorth Korea’s sole member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said that rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula caused by the North’s nuclear and missile tests and the United Nations’ sanctions may not affect next February’s Winter Olympics in South Korea’s PyeongChang.
In an interview with Olympic Channel, Chang Ung said that politics and Olympics are separate things and North Korea could have competitors at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics if its athletes qualify.
“I am quite sure politics is one thing and the Olympics is another thing. So I don’t see any big problem for the PyeongChang Olympic Games,” Chang said in the interview held on the sidelines of an IOC meeting in Lima on Friday (Peruvian local time).
Asked whether Pyongyang will send athletes across the inter-Korean border, Chang said, “The North Korean Olympic Committee [NOC] still cannot confirm any athletes as they haven’t qualified yet .?.?. [The decision] is up to the NOC. They decide. In fact, the NOC didn’t send any athletes to Sochi because of the qualification. Hopefully, if they are qualified, then they will go.”
South Korea, the IOC and the 2018 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games have continued their efforts to bring North Korea to the upcoming games. South Korean President Moon Jae-in recently expressed hope for North Korea’s participation.