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France reaffirms participation in PyeongChang 2018

All Headlines 14:58 September 23, 2017

SEOUL, Sept. 23 (Yonhap) -- France has reaffirmed its plan to participate in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics following news reports that the country is considering skipping the event due to rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula over North Korea's nuclear test and missile launches, the South Korean sports ministry said Saturday.

"To speak our formal position, France will go to PyeongChang with its national team of players and has never mentioned about or considered skipping the event," French Sports Minister Laura Flessel was quoted as saying during her talks in Paris with visiting South Korean vice sports minister Roh Tae-kang on Friday (on French time).

Flessel's comments were made just one day after she reportedly told a local radio station that France would skip the 2018 Olympics if security can't be guaranteed.

On Friday, the minister said she emphasized during the interview that it is very important to ensure that French athletes focus on training in a comfortable state of mind but that the radio exaggerated part of what she said. France fully trusts South Korea's efforts to make it a safe event, she added.

In response, Roh said South Korea is making all efforts to guarantee the security of athletes participating in the forthcoming Olympics based on its experience of successfully hosting many international sporting events such as 1988 Summer Olympics, the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

North Korea carried out its sixth and most powerful nuclear test and fired missiles over Japan over the past month. PyeongChang, located some 180 kilometers east of Seoul, lies about 80 km south of the heavily fortified border with the North.

sshim@yna.co.kr
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