Winter Olympic Games in
Pyeongchang South Korea holds
early February. The insistence of the
International Olympic Committee (IOC)
to hold the global sporting fiesta in the
Korean city, in spite of the tension between
North and South Korea is still puzzling.
Experts have been expressing fears that the
main international sporting event is taking
place during a period of high tension in the
Korean peninsula. The conflicting parties
were at the end of last year moving so
rapidly towards a direct frontal clash that
made the threat of nuclear war becoming
quite real. The IOC did not bulge.
The situation was aggravated by the
hawkish character of the Republican
administration in the United States led by
Donald Trump. Series of joint provocative
military drills by the US and South
Korean military coupled with Trump’s
government rhetoric over possible military
action against North Korea only helped
to aggravate the situation. It seems that
Trump was not interested in any diplomatic
solution. The White House was flexing
its muscles while pointedly accusing
Pyongyang of causing tension in the Asia-
Pacific region.
No doubt, the nuclear button on the table
of infantile North Korean leader, Kim Jongun,
remains a serious threat to international
stability. However, the world must
realize that it is Washington’s policy that
strengthens Pyongyang’s resolve to acquire
nuclear power. The young man found the
need to acquire nuclear arms desirable
because of the ease with which successive
American leaders violate international
law with impunity by using military force
to overthrow legitimate regimes in other
sovereign states. The tragic examples of
Yugoslavia, Iraq and Libya have forced the
ruling elite of North Korea to resort to the
development of nuclear weapons as the
only way to protect them.
The surprising overture of the North
Korean leader to the South in his New
Year broadcast is a clear indication that
Pyongyang acquisition of nuclear weapon
is not intended for Seoul but to forestall any US aggression toward the regime. The
possession of nuclear capability, especially
Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (IBM) is
sufficient deterrence to any bellicose tendency
of the US toward the regime in North Korea.
This is the reality of realism.
This opinion is completely shared by
the director of the French Institute of
International and Strategic Studies Pascal
Boniface. According to the analyst, Kim Jongun
is justly afraid of seeing the fate of Saddam
Hussein and Muammar Kadaffi re-enacted in
his country. Some European politicians have
also demonstrated sobriety of mind and
sound pragmatism by calling for dialogue.
These calls have come from very loyal allies
of America like Germany.
According to the German Foreign Minister,
Sigmar Gabriel, “The experience of the
Europeans cannot be underestimated. We,
like lunatics, entered the First World War
because the governments of the conflicting countries refused to dialogue. The war began
because people neglected diplomacy, and
now the belligerent rhetoric is becoming
more acute, and this is an alarming sign. I
am seriously concerned about the words of
Donald Trump that the US military is ready
to solve the North Korean problem by fire
and fury”.
These utterances made the Olympics in
Pyeongchang at the time truly dangerous.
It made the head of the Austrian Olympic
Committee and the French Sports Minister
warned that their teams would not participate
in the Olympic Games if the host country
could not guarantee the safety of delegations.
The position of these sports administrators
is well informed. It is difficult to compete
under serious condition of insecurity. More
so, the International Olympic Committee
(IOC), headed by Thomas Bach, resembles a
stillborn and amorphous organization that
cannot say anything intelligible.
This has greatly impacted on the sports
fiesta. According to the Ministry of Sports of
Republic of Korea, only a quarter of tickets for
the Olympic Games had been purchased as at
January, making it the lowest figure in the
history of the modern Olympic movement.
Diplomatic agencies of most European
countries strongly recommended their
citizens against traveling to Pyeongchang.
South Korean officials are already crying that
the costs of organizing the Olympics clearly
will not pay off.
If high-ranking officials of the International
Olympic Committee do not find the courage
to correct their own mistakes, the upcoming
Olympics in Pyeongchang will deal a huge
blow to the status of the Olympic movement.
To compete in empty stands will be the worst
experience that young athletes can imagine.
Observers believe that the IOC should have
made alternative arrangement for the hosting
of the games in another city in a different
country.
The fact that South Korea, especially the
city of Pyeongchang, could be targeted by any
mischievous armed group intent on causing
confusion and disaffection is a challenge
that all of us now face. This is an avoidable
challenge

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