After Wavering, White House Says US to Attend Winter Olympics


America's participation in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, is an open question because of tensions with neighboring North Korea, U.S.

Asked if that meant there's still uncertainty over whether US athletes will participate, Haley said it's "an open question".

That decision would involve multiple government agencies, she added, "but I think ultimately the president would certainly weigh in. We live our lives", Haley said on Fox News. "And certainly that's a ideal opportunity for all of them to go and do something they have worked so hard for".

"What we will do is make sure that we are taking every precaution possible, to make sure that they are safe".

North Korea's Foreign Ministry claimed this week that the outbreak of war on the Korean Peninsular is an "established fact" and seemingly a matter of when rather than if.

On Thursday, a spokesperson for the US mission to the United Nations expanded on the ambassador's remarks, saying, "The United States looks forward to participating in the Winter Olympics in South Korea next year".

The comments came after US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said it was an "open question" whether the US would attend out of safety concerns. If there was an actual move to keep them home, though, there would be all sorts of stakeholders (Olympic broadcaster NBC and parent corporation Comcast in particular, but also the USOC, different US sport federations, individual athletes and more) who would be up in arms if there was any actual threat of keeping USA athletes out of these games.

"Should the unthinkable happen and there's conflict between nations, that's not an issue for the U.S. Olympic Committee to get involved in", USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun said at the time.

The US Olympic Committee released a statement in response, saying it had not had any discussions, either internally or with government officials.

"The U.S. looks forward to participating in the Winter Olympics in South Korea", Sanders said Thursday on Twitter.

The International Olympic Committee announced Tuesday that it was banning Russian Federation from competing in the winter games over a massive doping conspiracy.

The U.S. has only boycotted the Olympics Games once.

The US military flew a B-1B bomber over South Korea on Wednesday as part of a massive joint aerial drill, in a move seen as a warning to the North. "I really do trust that the Olympic Committee and the State Department are all very diligent and would never put their athletes in harm's way".

Sanders's initial comments came during Thursday afternoon's White House press briefing, one day after Haley suggested in a cable news interview that tensions on the Korean Peninsula could lead the United States to pull out of February's Winter Games. "I wouldn't say it's something I never think about, but I'm confident we're in good hands".

That's sparked talk of war, a conflict that would inevitably impact North Korea's neighbor and the Olympic hosts, South Korea.