Olympic Body Watching N.Korea Crisis 'Very Closely'

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Olympic Body Watching N.Korea Crisis 'Very Closely'

On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump threatened to unleash "fire and fury" against North Korea if it endangered the United States.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) says it's "closely monitoring" rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula, with 2018 Winter Olympic Games scheduled to take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea, next February.

"We are monitoring the situation on the Korean peninsula and the region very closely".

The reclusive North's apparent progress in developing nuclear weapons and missiles capable of hitting the USA mainland led to a war of words this week between the two countries, unnerving regional powers.

"The IOC is keeping itself informed about developments".

The current situation has pushed the International Olympic Committee to allay any fears that next year's Games in Pyeongchang, which lies about 40 miles (65km) from the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, will be affected. "We continue working with the organizing committee", the statement said, as quoted by the BBC broadcaster. Due to this proximity, U.S. authorities, along with its allies' governments, will need to tighten security measures, or to recommend athletes and officials not to attend.

When PyeongChang's staging of the Games was announced in 2011, it had been hoped it would help bring the two Koreas closer together, with talk of a joint team and even the suggestion that some events could be staged north of the border. But what would be the first Winter Games in Asia outside Japan and the first of three consecutive Olympics on the continent risk being overshadowed by the mounting crisis involving North Korea. Most North Korean athletes however, didn't reached the qualifying standards but figure skating pair Ryom Tae-ok and Kim Ju-sik still have a chance to qualify in September.

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