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.
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.
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?”
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.”
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.
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