South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday sought to assure the world community that the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in South Korea will be held peacefully, apparently dismissing the possibility of any attacks from North Korea.
Moon said the event would rather serve as a chance to promote peace in the region if more countries and people took part to make it a complete success, according to his presidential office, Cheong Wa Dae.
The remarks came in a meeting with Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in (L) presents mascots of 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games to Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, as the two met on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Sept. 19, 2017. (Yonhap)
"Noting the International Olympic Committee, as well as the rest of the world, may be concerned about security conditions on the Korean Peninsula, President Moon asked for IOC's support to make it serve as games of peace," Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Park Soo-hyun told a press briefing.
Moon's trip to New York followed a recent series of armed provocations from the communist North that included the country's sixth nuclear test on Sept. 3.
The South Korean leader noted his country has successfully and peacefully hosted a number of international events, including the 1988 Olympic Games and two Asian Games, despite unrelenting and continued provocations from the North.
"Should the world become one to make the Winter Olympics a success, it will help remove security concerns and show peace and security in the region," Moon was quoted as saying.
South Korea and the North technically remain at war since the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.
Moon noted his country was also working to have North Korea take part in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games to be held in South Korea's PyeongChang, which, he said, would "further ensure the safety" of all those taking part.
Bach said South Korea was making significant progress to make the upcoming event a success, according to Park.