International

U.S won't meet N.K officials during Olympics:Report

The U.S. State Department has reconfirmed that it will not make contact with North Korean officials on the sidelines of the upcoming PyeongChang Olympics, a U.S. broadcaster reported Friday.

South Korean and North Korean chief delegates shake hands after agreeing at talks on Jan. 17, 2018, to march together under a unified flag at the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Olympics. (Yonhap)

South Korean and North Korean chief delegates shake hands after agreeing at talks on Jan. 17, 2018, to march together under a unified flag at the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Olympics. (Yonhap)

"There are no plans to meet with North Korean officials," Voice of America quoted Katina Adams, a spokeswoman for the State Department's Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, as saying over the phone.

In response to concerns that South Korea could violate international sanctions on the North in the course of inviting it to the Olympics, Katina said the North's participation in the Olympics is not new.

"Most recently, we note North Korea has sent athletes to the Olympics in 2012, 2014 and 2016," she said.

Her remarks have been construed as a reminder that the North's participation in international sporting events is separate from politics, the broadcaster said.

"The United States does not determine which countries may or may not participate in Olympic Games. The modern Olympic Games were born out of an ideal for peaceful sporting competition amongst nations. In that spirit, the United States looks forward to participating in the Winter Olympics in South Korea next month," she added.

The Winter Olympics will be held in the South Korean alpine town of PyeongChang from Feb. 9-25. Source from the Yonhap.

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