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Olympic athletes get first glimpse of 2018 Olympic medals

France Minister of Sport Flessel gives a speech at the presentation of Paris 2024 at the 131st IOC session in Lima

The South Korean Olympic chief on Monday downplayed security concerns ahead of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, saying countries are unlikely to skip the competition despite rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

"If this gets worse and we do not have our security assured, then our French team will stay here", sports minister Laura Flessel said last week.

The Games, scheduled for February 9-25, will take place just 80 km (50 miles) from the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, the world's most heavily armed border.

Sept.24: With tensions over the Korean Peninsula mounting, Austria and Germany have joined France to boycott the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, citing safety concerns over threats from nuclear-armed Pyongyang.

But she added: "We're not there yet". The two countries remain technically at war after their 1950-53 conflict ended with a truce and not a peace treaty. The IOC has expressed its support for the South Korean initiative of bringing North Korean athletes on board, and it may hand out wild card spots to select North Korean athletes if no one qualifies.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) have contacted all 205 National Olympic Committees asking them to "coordinate any media enquiries and responses" about the situation in North Korea with them.

"We will continue to prepare in the same way as with other global competitions that we take part in", a spokeswoman for the committee said. "There are no travel restrictions in place right now and if that should change I'm sure we would be among the first to know". While no North Korean athletes have yet qualified for PyeongChang, South Korea has repeatedly said the doors are open for the North.

"The safety of our entire Canadian Olympic Team is always our main priority, no matter where the Games are held", the COC said in a statement emailed to Reuters.

"Due to his lacking of basic common knowledge and proper sentiment, he tried to insult the supreme dignity of my country by referring it to a rocket, by doing so however, he committed an irreversible mistake of making our rocket's visit to the entire USA mainland inevitable all the more", Ho said at the United Nations General Assembly in NY. "We are completely focused on going".

He conceded, however, that ticket sales among overseas visitors could be affected.

"Our approach has been that the Olympic Games, whether they be Summer or Winter, are good for American athletes", Wasserman said.