Ambassador Fabien Penone reiterated his government's decision during his talks with Hong Joon-pyo, the leader of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, after news reports said Paris was considering skipping the event due to rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
|French Ambassador to South Korea Fabien Penone (L) speaks with Hong Joon-pyo, the leader of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, at the party`s headquarters in Seoul in this photo provided by the party on Sept. 25, 2017. (Yonhap)|
"The French sports minister has announced that France will join the Olympics, and she explained this to the press and the vice minister of South Korea's culture, sports and tourism minister," the ambassador was quoted by Hong's office as saying.
"I also add that the French government gives full trust to all activities by the South Korean government and the Olympics' organizing committee," he added.
Tensions here have escalated due to Pyongyang's sixth and most powerful test to date on Sept. 3 and a series of ballistic missile tests in defiance of international warnings. A recent exchange of bellicose remarks between the leaders of the United States and North Korea has further aggravated tensions.
The Winter Games will be held in the alpine county of PyeongChang, some 180 kilometers east of Seoul, from Feb. 9 to 25, with about 6,500 athletes and officials from 95 countries attending. It will be the first Olympics in South Korea since the 1988 Seoul Summer Games. (Yonhap)