South Korea Winter Olympics under a security shadow
September 22, 2017
Concerns over the security situation in Korea are casting a shadow over the Winter Olympics due to be held in Pyeongchang next February. Austria and France have said if security deteriorates, their teams will not go.
"If the situation worsens and the security of our athletes is no longer guaranteed, we will not go to South Korea," Stoss said.
His comments followed a warning from France's Sports Minister Laura Flessel on Thursday: "If this gets worse and we do not have our security assured, then our French team will stay here."
The German foreign ministry issued a statement saying the security question and the possibility of keeping the German team at home would be addressed "in good time."
Pyeongchang is only 80 kilometers (50 miles) from South Korea's frontier with the north. The games are scheduled for February 9-25.
Lithuania's Olympic Committee echoed Germany's response as spokeswoman Ieva Kutkaite said on Friday: "There is still a lot of time left until the Olympics Winter Games so that there is no need now for any decision." She said her committee would follow the recommendations of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
IOC denies threat to games
Flessel's comments came after IOC President Thomas Bach said: "there is not even a hint that there is a threat for security of the Games in the context of tensions between North Korea and some other countries." The IOC is continuing to monitor the situation on the Korean Peninsula.