Culture Minister: No Country Considering Opting out of PyeongChang Olympics

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Culture Minister: No Country Considering Opting out of PyeongChang Olympics

The Olympic Truce, which traces back to the Ekecheiria (a truce held during the Olympics in ancient Greece), has been an Olympic tradition since it passed the UN General Assembly in October 1993 and took force during the Lillehammer Winter Olympics the next year.

The mountainous resort town of Pyeongchang is located just 50 miles (80 km) from the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, the world's most heavily armed border.

China and Russian Federation have pushed back against some demands the United States and Japan wrote into early drafts of UN Security Council resolutions aimed at halting Pyongyang's efforts to develop nuclear weapons. The pair's participation in the Games is now up to the North Korean Olympic committee. "With the Olympic Truce resolution, the UN General Assembly is creating the conditions for all athletes to compete in peace".

Organizers of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, expect long-time adversary North Korea to hold off for as long as possible on deciding whether to participate in the Games, South Korea's top sports official said on Tuesday.

Lee said that PyeongChang is ready to "welcome the world" for the 2018 Olympics with all construction done and the Olympic Flame touring the country.

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Former figure skating champion Kim Yuna, a goodwill ambassador for the PyeongChang Winter Games, addressed the 193-member UN General Assembly that day, sharing her experience "in witnessing the power sport has in breaking down the walls of race, region, language and religion all around the world".

The theme of the General Assembly this year was "Focusing on People".

It also expressed expectation that the PyeongChang Olympics "will be a meaningful opportunity to foster an atmosphere of peace, development, tolerance and understanding on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia". But other factors are the possibility of North Korea carrying out an additional provocation before the Olympics and the state of North Korea-US relations. Two North Korean figure skaters have already qualified for the Games, but it is not known if they will compete.

South Korean gold medalist Kim Yu-na, an honorary ambassador for the Pyeongchang Olympics, speaks to the UN General Assembly in support of the Olympic Truce resolution on November 13.

The two-time Olympian added that she is confident that the upcoming Games "will be one of best platforms not only for transmitting this message but for sharing the Olympic spirit of peace for humanity with the entire world". "North Korea responded with extreme sensitivity to the Seoul Olympics in 1988, which it regarded as an indicator of rivalry between the two governments. They never erect walls".

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