Winter Olympics to go ahead in South Korea despite North Korea crisis
According to the International Olympic Committee the doors are open for North Korea to participate in the 2018 competition hosted by their neighbouring country.
Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said he remains confident the Pyeongchang Winter Games will go on as scheduled despite last week’s North Korean missile tests.
Bach said the committee is applying for diplomatic solutions to the problems in the Korean Peninsula.
'We see the deliberations of the U.N. Security Council, which are about diplomacy and diplomatic measures and sanctions to resolve this situation,' said Bach at an IOC meeting. 'So, our position remains unchanged.'
The 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics are scheduled for February 8-25.
Ung Chang, North Korea’s IOC member said he hopes that the games go on as planned. However, when asked if South Korea will be safe during the Games, he answered: “Nobody knows.”
Earlier this month, North Korea launched its sixth biggest nuclear bomb test so far. But. according to Bach, the doors are open for North Korean athletes to participate in the Games, amid UN discussions currently being held with string rhetoric being used, most notably from the President of the USA.
Also, Moon Jae-In, South Korea’s president, said in July that their northern neighbors will be given until the last minute to decide whether they will take part in the Olympics or not.
As of today, none of North Korea’s athletes have reached the qualification standards.
Pair skaters Ryom Tae-ok and Kim Ju-sik still have a chance to succeed. They reached the final of the Olympic qualification event which will occur in two weeks in Germany.
Slow ticket sale for the Games
Usually, Olympic tickets sell quickly, however, tensions in the Korean Peninsula have affected the sales.
Organizers expect more than a million spectators for the Games, and assume 70 percent of those to be locals.
As of today, only 52,000 tickets have been sold to South Koreans, while the international sales, with a target of 320,000 seats sold, have only been half attained.
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