Korea continues diplomatic efforts to reassure countries over PyeongChang
February’s winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea will be safe and successful, a group of diplomatic mission chiefs has been assured by Do Jong-hwan, the country’s minister of culture, sports and tourism.
Speaking at the opening of a cultural programme event in Seoul, Do told the group of about 40 dignitaries from 23 nations, including 12 ambassadors: “This Olympics will contribute to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia. And it will be one of the safest Olympics ever.
“We also hope everyone supports an Olympic Truce resolution that will be adopted on November 13.”
The attempt to reassure diplomats comes as concerns mount over escalating political tensions involving neighbouring North Korea.
Earlier this month, the DOSB, the German Olympic committee, said that it was in “intensive” contact with both the International Olympic Committee and Germany’s own foreign office, after Germany was one of several countries reported to be considering whether to send its athletes to the games.
Responding to a controversial suggestion by France’s sports minister that the country might not send its athletes to compete in the games, as Austria also considered its position, Do said last month that the ministry hoped to prevent a “domino effect” of athletes withdrawing from the games. He added: “It is important for us to show the world we can hold this event safely, so we will actively work with and visit countries that express worries.”
North Korea has conducted a series of nuclear tests in recent weeks, including firing a missile over Japan, prompting international concern and condemnation.