The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, has noted that it has not been decided if U.S. athletes will participate at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, as U.S. relations with North Korea continue to sour.
Ambassador Haley told Fox News that it is still an “open question” whether American athletes will take part in the games, USA Today reported.
“I think those are conversations we are going to have to have, but what have we always said? We don’t ever fear anything, we live our lives,” Haley said. “And certainly that is a perfect opportunity for all of them to go and do something they have worked so hard for.”
“What we will do is make sure that we are taking every precaution possible, to make sure that they are safe,” the ambassador added.
Despite her statements, U.S. Olympic officials did not substantiate Haley’s position.
“We have not had any discussions, either internally or with our government partners, about the possibility of not taking teams to the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. We plan on supporting two full delegations in PyeongChang,” USOC spokesperson Mark Jones said on Friday.
The U.S. Olympics Committee has also noted that it has remained focused on its preparations to compete next year in South Korea.
France has also professed its worries over the safety of athletes as North Korea continues to ramp up its belligerent behavior. In September, Olympic officials from France said they may refrain from joining the games in South Korea if the safety of their citizens could not be guaranteed against attacks by Kim Jong-un’s oppressive regime.
Still, the International Olympics Committee has claimed that there are no security concerns for next year’s games. Christophe Dubi, the executive director of the Olympic Games, recently noted that he has seen “full support from the United Nations” for the 2018 games. Dubi also insisted that there is a “very positive message coming out of the assembly.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.