U.S. athletes to attend Games: Haley

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U.S. athletes to attend Games: Haley

WASHINGTON - The United States will send its full delegation of athletes to next year’s PyeongChang Winter Olympics, an envoy said Sunday, amid confusion over U.S. participation.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said last week it was an “open question” whether the United States would send its athletes to the February games, citing safety concerns sparked by increased military tensions with North Korea. Asked again Sunday whether the United States would send its full team, Haley said, “Yes, we are.

“If you look back, we have always talked about security in the Olympics. We have always talked about keeping our athletes safe,” she said on Fox News. “This is no different, and we are looking at the circumstances just to make sure we’re doing everything we can. We’re at the locations, we’re starting to secure the process, but we always look out for the best interests of United States citizens.”

The White House and State Department sought to dispel confusion following Haley’s remarks last week.

“The U.S. looks forward to participating in the Winter Olympics in South Korea,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders wrote on Twitter Thursday. “The protection of Americans is our top priority and we are engaged with the South Koreans and other partner nations to secure the venues.”

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert also said, “We look forward to being a part of the Olympics in the Republic of Korea.”

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have risen further with North Korea’s launch last month of a new intercontinental ballistic missile it claims is capable of striking all parts of the United States.

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