Wednesday, 17 July, 2019

Speculation swirls after North Korea cancels show with South

Patty Aguilar | 01 February, 2018, 03:04

Jones will reprise her role from the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, attending live Olympic events, meeting athletes, and spreading her enthusiasm for the Olympics on television and online during NBC Olympics' coverage in PyeongChang.

South Korean officials, who see the games as an opening to broader political reconcilliation and even worldwide talks over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programme, still hope other planned events pan out.

Around 3,000 athletes are set to participate in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games, making it the largest Winter Olympics in history, the organising committee said on Monday at the close of nominations.

"The ministry reportedly told the North that all events agreed upon for the success of the Olympics and Paralympics should be held without fail".

"Inter-Korean agreements should be implemented on the basis of mutual respect and understanding, as the two Koreas took a first step with difficulty toward better ties", said a ministry official.

North Korea earlier this month designated February 8, 1948, as the foundation date of the Korean People's Army, and plans to "significantly mark" the 70th anniversary next month, according to the state-run Korean Central News Agency.

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Russian speed skater Olga Graf announced on Tuesday she is refusing to compete in the upcoming Pyeongchang Olympics, because a ban on her country meant there wouldn't be enough athletes to form a team for the pursuit race.

However, the Trump administration banned aircraft that land in North Korea from entering the USA for 180 days.

North Korean women's ice hockey players arrive at the CIQ (Customs, Immigration and Quarantine) office near the Demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating South and North Korea on January 25, 2018 in Paju, South Korea.

"Everything was rushed... North Korea's participation in the Pyeongchang Olympics was decided late, and from then on the situation was dragged hurriedly to this point in time", Jeong said.

The parade and South Korea's objection to it led to North Korea's cancelation of one of the joint cooperation projects planned for next month's Winter Olympics, a development highlighting the delicate nature of ties between the rivals split for seven decades.

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