The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations said American athletes attending the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea is still an "open question" on Wednesday evening, as concerns over escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula have continued to grow.
When asked if it was a "done deal" that U.S. athletes would be in attendance, Nikki Haley said on Fox News, "There's an open question. I have not heard anything about that, but I do know in the talks that we have — whether it's Jerusalem or North Korea — it's about, how do we protect the U.S. citizens in the area?"
The Winter Olympics are set to take place between Feb. 9-25, in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and the recent heightened tensions between the U.S. and North Korea have made matters more complicated because the situation is "changing by the day," Haley said.
"What we will do is make sure we are taking every precaution possible to make sure that [U.S. athletes are] safe and to know everything that’s going on around them," Haley explained. "So, I think that’s something where the administration is going to come together and find out the best way to make sure they’re protected."
North Korea, irate over a massive joint military exercise between the U.S. and South Korea, said that a nuclear war is near inevitable due to a series of "bellicose remarks" from high-ranking U.S. officials, including CIA Director Mike Pompeo, according to the Associated Press.
"We do not wish for a war but shall not hide from it, and should the U.S. miscalculate our patience and light the fuse for a nuclear war, we will surely make the U.S. dearly pay the consequences with our mighty nuclear force which we have consistently strengthened," an unnamed Foreign Ministry spokesperson said, the AP reported.
The comments came on Wednesday shortly after the U.S. and South Korea finished conducting a joint military aerial exercise that consisted of hundreds of planes, as well as a flyover by a B-1B supersonic bomber in South Korea.
"Through the drill, the South Korean and U.S. air forces displayed the allies’ strong intent and ability to punish North Korea when threatened by nuclear weapons and missiles," the South Korean military said in a statement.
President Donald Trump has exchanged in a war of words, so to speak, with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un and the two have exchanged insults. Recently, Trump said that the U.S. would "take care of it" following a recent missile test by North Korea.