Nikki Haley Casts Uncertainty Over US Olympic Participation After North Korea’s Missile Antics

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Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter
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U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Wednesday that America’s participation in the upcoming Winter Olympics is an “open question” given North Korea’s repeated provocations.

The 2018 Winter Olympics will be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, just 50 miles from the North Korea. The North Korean regime has launched nearly two dozen missiles this year, including three intercontinental ballistic missiles, and tested a suspected staged thermonuclear device, raising tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Haley asserted recently that North Korea’s most recent missile test has brought Washington and Pyongyang “closer to war,” adding that “if war comes, make no mistake, the North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed.” North Korea has stated that war is no longer a question of if, but when.

With North Korea’s nuclear shadow hanging over the peninsula, Haley says U.S. participation in the Olympics is an “open question.”

“What we will do is make sure we are taking every precaution possible to make sure that [U.S. athletes are] safe,” Haley said Wednesday on “The Story with Martha MacCallum,” adding, “I think that’s something where the administration is going to come together and find out the best way to make sure they’re protected.”

“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,” Haley stated.

Mark Jones, a spokesman for the United States Olympic Committee, says there have not been any discussions about U.S. participation.

“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 told the New York Times. “We plan on supporting two full delegations in Pyeongchang.”

Haley’s office did not respond to request for comment or clarification by the time of publication.

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