• Live
    • Audio Only
  • google plus
  • facebook
  • twitter
News > World

At South Korea's Request, US Agrees to Delay War Games on Korean Peninsula for Pyeongchang Olympics

  • The US and South Korean armed forces regularly hold joint military exercises on the Korean Peninsula.

    The US and South Korean armed forces regularly hold joint military exercises on the Korean Peninsula. | Photo: Reuters

Published 4 January 2018

The participation of North Korea in the games would be an opportunity for further talks to be held.

US President Donald Trump has agreed that joint war-exercises on the Korean Peninsula will not be held during the South Korea-hosted Winter Olympic Games in February.

US Dismisses Diplomatic Overtures Between Korean People

South Korean President Moon Jae-in requested that the exercises be delayed during a telephone conversation with Trump on Thursday.

"I believe it would greatly help ensure the success of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games if you could express an intention to delay joint South Korea-US military exercises during the Olympics in case the North does not make any more provocations," Moon said to Trump, according to Yonhap News Agency.

The participation of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) in the Olympics has widely been seen as a potential window to open up further talks and relations.

Relations between North and South Korea have experienced a thaw since the New Year, after North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un, extended offers of diplomacy and a desire to send an athletic team to the Olympics to be held in the South.

While the offer was met with openness by President Moon, the United States has largely dismissed the efforts of the Korean people to arrive at a peaceful solution to ongoing tensions. Top military official Vincent Brooks said the efforts at diplomacy were merely an attempt to divide the alliance between the United States and South Korea.

Several prominent members of the US Congress have gone so far as to condemn the prospect of North Korean athletes participating in the games. Republican Lindsey Graham tweeted on January 1 that their participation would "give legitimacy to the most illegitimate regime on the planet" and said that "if North Korea goes to the Winter Olympics, we (the United States) do not."

North Korea has previously taken part in the Olympics, including the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics in Brazil. When North Korean gymnast Hong Un-jong took a selfie with her South Korean counterpart, the photo quickly went viral around the world.

Kim's olive branch to the South was also accompanied by a stern warning to the United States to back off, noting that he had a "nuclear button" on his desk, referring to the country's nuclear deterrence and weapons delivery system.

Trump responded in a widely criticized and parodied tweet that "I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger and more powerful one than his."

Post with no comments.