Recently, rising tensions with North Korea have led to speculation that the United States might find itself having to boycott the upcoming Winter Olympics, set to begin in Pyeongchang next month. As RedState reported earlier this week, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham tweeted that if North Korea attended the games, the US would not.
However, President Trump’s recent call with South Korean President Moon Jae-In included a note of optimism that all would be well on the Korean Peninsula for the upcoming games:
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 4, 2018
Readout of President Donald J. Trump’s Call with President Moon Jae-In of the Republic of Korea
President Donald J. Trump spoke today with President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea to discuss recent developments on the Korean Peninsula. The two leaders agreed to continue the campaign of maximum pressure against North Korea and to not repeat mistakes of the past. The United States and the Republic of Korea are committed to a safe and successful 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang. President Trump told President Moon that the United States will send a high-level delegation to the Olympics. The two leaders agreed to de-conflict the Olympics and our military exercises so that United States and Republic of Korea forces can focus on ensuring the security of the Games.
While the call didn’t clearly spell it out, apparently the commitment to “de-conflict the Olympics and our military exercises” translates into postponing joint military exercise “Foal Eagle” until after the Games.
Per the Washington Post:
The military exercise, Foal Eagle, often involves more than 30,000 American and 200,000 South Korean troops, as well as air, ground and naval operations.
Army Col. Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman, said that the decision was made “in the spirit of the Olympic Games.” He did not disclose the specific start date of the exercise, saying only that it will be after the Olympics are over.
Obviously, security concerns remain but hopefully, this decision will help de-escalate the tensions enough to allow for the desired “safe and successful 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang.”