This article is from the source 'nytimes' and was first published or seen on . The next check for changes will be

You can find the current article at its original source at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/07/world/asia/nikki-haley-olympics.html

The article has changed 3 times. There is an RSS feed of changes available.

Version 1 Version 2
Nikki Haley Calls U.S. Presence at South Korea Olympics an ‘Open Question’ After Questioning Security at South Korean Olympics, Officials Say U.S. Looks Forward to Participating
(about 7 hours later)
HONG KONG The American envoy to the United Nations, Nikki R. Haley, said on Wednesday that it was an “open question” whether American athletes would be able to attend the Olympics in South Korea in February given the tensions on the Korean Peninsula. WASHINGTON — United States officials have expressed concern about security at the Winter Olympics in South Korea in February, initially raising the possibility of withdrawing from the games but later insisting that American athletes will compete.
The Winter Games are to be held Feb. 9-25 in Pyeongchang, a city about 50 miles from the demilitarized zone that separates North and South Korea. The American envoy to the United Nations, Nikki R. Haley, said on Wednesday that it was an “open question” whether American athletes would be able to attend the Winter Games, given the tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
Asked on Fox News if athletes from the United States would be able to compete, Ms. Haley said: “There’s an open question. I have not heard anything about that, but I do know in the talks that we have whether it’s Jerusalem or North Korea it’s about, how do we protect the U.S. citizens in the area?” Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, echoed Ms. Haley’s remarks during a briefing for reporters on Thursday, saying that “no official decision has been made” about participating in the Olympics. Asked about whether the reason is security concerns, she said “absolutely.”
But moments later, Ms. Sanders took to Twitter to clarify, saying that “the U.S. looks forward to participating in the Winter Olympics in South Korea. The protection of Americans is our top priority and we are engaged with the South Koreans and other partner nations to secure the venues.”
The Winter Games are scheduled to be held Feb. 9-25 in Pyeongchang, a city about 50 miles south of the demilitarized zone that separates North and South Korea.
Security for the thousands of American athletes and spectators at the Olympics is always a serious concern for officials in the United States. A domestic bomber killed one person and injured scores at the 1996 summer Olympics in Atlanta. At the Munich Summer Games in 1972, a terrorist hostage-taking attack ended with the deaths of 11 Israelis and one German police officer.
Concerns about what could happen at the Winter Games in February have spiked in recent weeks as President Trump and Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, have engaged in a war of words about Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions.
Tensions have been heating up on the Korean Peninsula after a two-month lull, with North Korea launching a missile last week that experts said showed the capability of hitting much of the continental United States.Tensions have been heating up on the Korean Peninsula after a two-month lull, with North Korea launching a missile last week that experts said showed the capability of hitting much of the continental United States.
Then, on Monday, the United States began military drills with South Korea that were to include simulated strikes on the North’s nuclear and missile sites, leading Pyongyang to accuse Washington of pushing the peninsula “to the brink of nuclear war.”Then, on Monday, the United States began military drills with South Korea that were to include simulated strikes on the North’s nuclear and missile sites, leading Pyongyang to accuse Washington of pushing the peninsula “to the brink of nuclear war.”
Addressing the strained relations and their impact on the Olympics, Ms. Haley said the Trump administration would try to “find out the best way” to protect American athletes participating in the Games. In September, Mr. Kim accused Mr. Trump of exhibiting “mentally deranged behavior.” His comments triggered a quick response from the American president, who said that Mr. Kim is “obviously a madman who doesn’t mind starving or killing his people.”
“I think those are conversations we are going to have to have, but what have we always said? We don’t ever fear anything, we live our lives,” Ms. Haley said. “What we will do is make sure that we’re taking every precaution possible to make sure that they’re safe and to know everything that’s going on around them.” Two months later, the two traded insults again, with Mr. Trump tweeting: “Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me ‘old,’ when I would NEVER call him ‘short and fat?’ Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend and maybe someday that will happen!”
After North Korea launched its missile last week, Mr. Trump called Mr. Kim a “sick puppy.”
Addressing the strained relations and their impact on the Olympics, Ms. Haley said on Wednesday that the Trump administration would try to “find out the best way” to protect American athletes participating in the Games.
“I think those are conversations that we are going to have to have, but what have we always said? We don’t ever fear anything, we live our lives,” Ms. Haley said. “What we will do is make sure that we’re taking every precaution possible to make sure that they’re safe and to know everything that’s going on around them.”
Asked on Fox News if athletes from the United States would be able to compete, Ms. Haley said: “There’s an open question. I have not heard anything about that, but I do know that in the talks that we have — whether it’s Jerusalem, whether it’s North Korea — it’s about, how do we protect the U.S. citizens in the area?”
However, Mark Jones, a spokesman for the United States Olympic Committee, said there had been no discussion of American athletes’ staying away.However, Mark Jones, a spokesman for the United States Olympic Committee, said there had been no discussion of American athletes’ staying away.
“We have not had any discussions, either internally or with our government partners, about the possibility of not taking teams to the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games,” he said in a statement. “We plan on supporting two full delegations in Pyeongchang.”“We have not had any discussions, either internally or with our government partners, about the possibility of not taking teams to the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games,” he said in a statement. “We plan on supporting two full delegations in Pyeongchang.”
South Korea has invited the North to participate in the Games. But the military drills with the United States and the recent defection of a North Korean soldier to the South have reignited tensions and undercut hopes for a thaw in time for the Olympics.South Korea has invited the North to participate in the Games. But the military drills with the United States and the recent defection of a North Korean soldier to the South have reignited tensions and undercut hopes for a thaw in time for the Olympics.
As part of the military exercises, the United States flew two B-1B heavy bombers, the largest American strike aircraft, over South Korea on Thursday.As part of the military exercises, the United States flew two B-1B heavy bombers, the largest American strike aircraft, over South Korea on Thursday.