March 17, 2018

United Nations urges countries to stop fighting during winter Olympics

15 November 2017, 12:28 | Joan Schultz

Thomas Bach addresses the UN General Assembly

Thomas Bach addresses the UN General Assembly

"Through this cease-fire resolution, United Nations member states will have a meaningful opportunity to promote peace in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games through sports and Olympic ideals, promote understanding of humanity, and create peace on the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia", a Ministry statement read, according to fnnews. The truce is an Olympic tradition that dates back to the ancient Olympic Games.

Organizers of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, expect long-time adversary North Korea to hold off for as long as possible on deciding whether to participate in the Games, South Korea's top sports official said on Tuesday.

It was titled "Building a Peaceful and Better World through Sports and the Olympic Idea".

The entire world has resolved to refrain from all kinds of hostile activities for the duration of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

Kim said she experienced "the same spirit and power" as a 10-year-old watching the South Korean and North Korean delegations jointly enter the arena at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

Still, the previous time South Korea hosted the Olympics, which was the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul, Kim's grandfather Kim Il Sung, the founder of the North Korean state, boycotted them after a plan to co-host the event fell apart.

Hee Beom Lee in New York
Hee Beom Lee in New York

North Korean figure skaters Ryom Tae-ok and Kim Ju-sik qualified for the 2018 Winter Games at an International Skating Union competition in Oberstdorf, Germany in September.

The Ministry of Unification said on the adoption of the resolution, "We look forward to North Korea being receptive in creating a path to peace on the Korean Peninsula, Northeast Asia and the worldwide community". Even during the ancient Olympic Games, for a city to send its athletes to compete at Olympia meant that they intended to keep the ekecheria - the Olympic Truce. But this practice ended prior to the Beijing Olympics in 2008, and has not occurred since. The pair's participation in the Games is now up to the North Korean Olympic committee.

The symbolic Olympic Truce resolution has been adopted every two years ahead of the summer and winter games since 1993.

Representing the Navy as a torchbearer was Lieutenant Commander Kim Gyu-hwan, who played a key role in a successful rescue mission involving South Korean crewmen who were kidnapped by Somali pirates in 2011.

The Winter Olympics are due to take place from February 9 until 25.

"I hope that the Games will help lay the foundation for dialogue and cooperation on the Korean Peninsula which is going through political tension", said Do, adding that North Korea's participation in the Pyeongchang Games is likely to be "a last-minute decision". This partly overlaps with the period when the South Korea-US joint military drills are held. At the least, however, delaying the military exercises would be in the spirit of the truce. That's how to make the Pyeongchang Olympics blossom as a true forum for peace.

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