Thursday, 19 September, 2019

Security at the 2018 Winter Olympics

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
Patty Aguilar | 20 January, 2018, 16:36

Olympics organizers on Friday welcomed an agreement between North and South Korea to unite athletes at the upcoming Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and promised that "much more exciting initiatives" promoting Korean unity will emerge this weekend.

North and South Korean skiers will train together at a resort in North Korea before the Olympics start, and performers from the two countries will also hold a joint cultural event at Mount Kumgang.

Hong Joon-pyo, leader of South Korea's main conservative opposition party, said: "We are turning the Pyeongchang Olympics that we've got into the Pyongyang Olympics".

The IOC earlier said the meeting will involve representatives from PyeongChang's organizing committee and the two national Olympic bodies, plus high-ranking government officials and IOC members from the two countries.

The North agreed last week to take part in the Pyeongchang games, which will take place about 80km south of the demilitarised zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas, easing tensions over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons programmes.

The delegation was meant due to travel via the land route on the Gyeongui Line in western South Korea through the now-shuttered Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC).

"Adding somebody so close to the Olympics is a little bit unsafe just for team chemistry because the girls have been together for so long", she said.

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Hyon's delegation was for the goal of inspecting facilities for the performance of the 140-member Samjiyon Orchestra, which the two Koreas have agreed will perform during the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in both Seoul and Gangnueng.

The final list of Russian athletes, who will be allowed to take part in the 2018 Games as an "Olympic Athlete from Russia" (OAR), is now being determined by a special commission.

The decision to form a joint team in the women's ice hockey category, however, was met with considerable controversy in South Korea, as some fans believe it could hurt the country's prospects of earning a medal.

When athletes from the rival Koreas paraded together behind a single flag for the first time at the opening ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Olympics, it was a highly emotional event that came on a wave of hope for reconciliation following their leaders' first-ever summit talks. Last year, North Korea carried out its sixth and biggest nuclear test explosion and test-fired three intercontinental ballistic missiles, and Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump traded threats of war and crude insults against each other.

"The North notified us that it was suspending its plans to send a preliminary review team tomorrow to our side", the Ministry of Unification announced on the evening of January 19.

The White House says the joint Olympic team is an opportunity for North Korea to see the value of ending its worldwide isolation by getting rid of its nuclear weapons.

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