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North Korea threatens to pull out of Winter Olympics

Pyongyang’s state-run news agency warns South Korean leader against making ‘rash remarks’

14.01.2018 - Update : 15.01.2018
North Korea threatens to pull out of Winter Olympics

By Alex Jensen


North Korea’s state-run news agency on Sunday cautioned that Pyongyang may abandon its promise to participate in Winter Olympics scheduled to be held in South Korea next month.

Only last Tuesday, the North agreed during the first inter-Korean talks in over two years to send a delegation of athletes, officials and performers to PyeongChang 2018.

Sunday’s threat was directed at South Korean President Moon Jae-in after he suggested last week that North Korea’s willingness to hold dialogue may have been influenced by American pressure on Pyongyang’s nuclear weapon development.

The North has remained hostile to the United States even amid ongoing efforts to improve ties with Seoul, blaming Washington for regional tensions.

“Rash remarks that pour cold water over the reconciliatory phase are dumbfounding and disappointing people,” North Korea's official KCNA news agency stated.

Pyongyang urged the South Korean government to “think deeply about what ugly results their impolite behavior would cause” and to remember “the train and bus that will take our delegation to the Winter Olympics are still in Pyongyang”.

Meanwhile, the Koreas’ representatives are set to convene on Monday morning for follow-up talks to start ironing out the details of the North’s participation in PyeongChang.

North Korea boycotted Seoul 1988, the only previous Olympics to be held on the peninsula.

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