Photo: KCNA via KNS / Agence France-Presse
The number one north-Korean Kim Jong-un
The number one north-Korean Kim Jong-un on Monday gave the first sign that his country could participate next month at the Olympic winter games in South Korea, despite tensions sparked by its nuclear ambitions.
“I sincerely hope that the Olympic winter games in Pyeongchang will be carried out successfully “, said Mr. Kim in his New Year message to the nation of north korea.
“We are willing to take the necessary measures, including to send our delegation,” in Pyeongchang, he continued. “To this end, the authorities of the North and South could be in the near future “.
An ad welcome to the Blue House, the presidency in south korea. “We salute you “, she said in a statement. “If the games are a success, it will contribute to peace not only on the Korean peninsula, but also in the region and the world.”
Even the sound of a bell in Lee Hee-Beom, the chairman of the organizing Committee (Pocog). “We welcome actively the suggestion by the North that it is ready to enter into negotiations to participate in the games,” he told AFP.
“We are preparing the OJ in the idea that the North will finally hand “, he continued, adding that all athletes, including the North Koreans, would feel at home in Pyeongchang.
South Korea hosts the 2018 winter olympic games from 9 to 25 February, while the Paralympic games begin on march 9.
Seoul, as the organizers present the games as the ” Olympics of peace “.
The main events will take place just 80 km from the border zone between the two Koreas. Tensions are record highs in recent months because of the proliferation of missile and nuclear tests in north korea.
The olympics, has continued with the number one north-Korean, will be ” a good opportunity to testify of the grace of the Korean people to the world. The year 2018 will be a significant year for the North as for the South, the North, celebrating the 70th anniversary of his birth and the South hosting the Olympic winter games “.
“Neither war nor peace “
Mr. Kim, however, cautioned, and warned that the tense situation on the peninsula could represent a threat.
“The strong military tension between the North and the South need to calm down and a peaceful atmosphere should prevail. As long as we are in an unstable situation which is neither war nor peace, the North and the South can not guarantee the success of their events scheduled, including JO, to sit down to talk or move towards reunification “.
The participation of Pyongyang in the sports competitions organized in the South has always been dependent on the political and military situation on the peninsula. North Korea had boycotted the summer games of Seoul 1988. But it had sent its athletes to the asian games 2014 in Incheon, near Seoul.
“It is quite remarkable that the north Korean leader himself declares that the North is ready to participate in the games to Pyeongchang “, said to AFP, Yang Moo-Jin, a professor at the University of north Korean capital city of Seoul. “The chances of participation of the North games today seem greater than 80 % “.
In the eyes of Kim Hyun-Wook, of the diplomatic Academy Korea, the North wants to use the sporting event to improve relations with Seoul in a context of strong tensions with the United States.
“The United States will find it difficult to restrain a dialogue inter-Korean summit focused on Pyeongchang,” he said.
Two athletes from north korea, the couple of skaters Ryom Tae-Ok and Kim Ju-Sik, are qualified to Pyeongchang, but the olympic Committee of north korea has missed the deadline of 30 October to confirm their participation at the international skating Union.
These athletes could still compete at the invitation of the international olympic Committee.
Since the end of the Korean war (1950-53), the two-state rivals are separated by the demilitarized Zone (DMZ), a border-the most heavily armed in the world.
Last month, the south Korean president Moon Jae-In had hoped that Games can reduce stress. He proposed a postponement of the military exercises, annual joint between Seoul and Washington.
The maneuvers Key Resolve and Foal Eagle usually begin in late February or early march, and cause each time a fever, Pyongyang, seeing the preparations for a future invasion of its territory.