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Korea calls off joint Olympic event at Mt. Kumgang

01 February 2018

State Department officials overseeing security for the U.S. Olympic team said they had planned for all threat scenarios over almost two years in preparation for the Pyeongchang Games that begin next week amid fears of further North Korean nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches.

South Korea has expressed regret over North Korea's cancellation of a joint cultural event that was to be held before the start of next week's PyeongChang Olympics.

According to Yonhap, the Seoul government said it was regrettable to see North Korea unilaterally call off a joint event that it had agreed to host.

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They will stay in North Korea until Thursday.

The statement said North Korea also cited criticism of an "internal celebration event", which appeared to be a reference to speculation that it will hold a large-scale military parade in Pyongyang on the eve of the Games.

North and South Korea launched rare talks early in January to bring North Koreans to the Pyeongchang Games after the North's leader, Kim Jong Un, said in a New Year's address he was willing to open discussions with Seoul.

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9 in Pyeongchang, South Korea, at a time of high tensions over North Korea's nuclear weapons and missile programs.

The two Koreas had been in discussions regarding final details over the joint performance.

Correction at 2120 KST: The final decision not to gift the smartphones was made by the Organising Committee for the PyeongChang Olympic and Paralympic Games (POCOG), not the Ministry of Unification (MOU).

The security officials said they were unaware of any specific threats and were confident that the South Koreans can provide a secure Olympics.

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Korea calls off joint Olympic event at Mt. Kumgang