UN Adopts Olympic Truce

Aubrey Yates
November 14, 2017

The Ministry made the call following the United Nations' adoption of the Olympic Truce resolution in New York City yesterday.

The U.N. General Assembly has approved a resolution by acclamation urging all countries to stop fighting and observe a truce during the upcoming Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

"The Olympic truce is to ensure a safe passage of the athletes and all other Olympic credited personnel when they travel to and from the Olympic Games".

Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, told the 193-member world body that with the resolution the General Assembly is "creating the conditions for all athletes to compete in peace".

The International Olympic Committee and South Korean organizers have expressed confidence they can stage a secure competition. This resolution does not have the legal force of a UN Security Council resolution, but by adopting the resolution, the UN is urging all member states to suspend hostilities from February 2 to March 25.

Since 1993, the Truce Resolution has been adopted every two years ahead of the Summer and Winter Olympics to cease all conflicts during the period of the games. Reflecting the special circumstances of the Korean Peninsula - namely, continuing concerns about a military clash - the Olympic Truce resolution calls for "safe passage, access and participation for athletes and relevant persons at the Games".

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"We welcome the North's participation in the Pyeongchang Olympic Games at any time in anticipation of North Korea's response to the peace on the Korean Peninsula and the peaceful development of Northeast Asia and the world".

In this photo captured from official UN footage, former South Korean figure skating champion Kim Yu-na addresses the UN General Assembly in NY on November 13, 2017.

"Just as the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul contributed to the dismantling of the eastern and western camps and the Cold War era, the Government could promote peace on the Korean peninsula through the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and Paralympics, and further promote peace and cooperation on the Korean Peninsula".

South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yo has assured this year's Olympics will be a success.

"Indeed, Pyeongchang represents perhaps the most honest efforts to cross frozen borders between South and North Korea and foster a peaceful environment", she said.

The PyeongChang Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games are slated to run next year from February 9-25 and March 9-18, respectively, against the backdrop of heightened tensions over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs. She said South Korean and USA officials were discussing what that sign might be. But other factors are the possibility of North Korea carrying out an additional provocation before the Olympics and the state of North Korea-US relations. But though the North has said it may be open to dialogue, it hasn't responded to invitations to take part in the Olympics. It's for this reason that the global community must pressure North Korea into talks as soon as possible, including through use of sanctions, Moon said Tuesday, per Reuters.

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