Paris [France], 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.
"The French team will not travel to the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang if its "security cannot be assured, we will not put our team in danger," Sputnik quoted Laura Flessel, the country's sports minister, as saying.

There have long been speculations about some countries like Austria and Germany are also thinking of boycotting the Olympics, scheduled for February 9-25, due to Pyeongchang's proximity to the border with North Korea, which has recently fired yet another ballistic missile and conducted its sixth nuclear weapons test in spite of new UN Security Council sanctions.

Karl Stoss, head of Austria's national Olympic committee said, "If the situation gets worse and the security of the athletes is no longer guaranteed, we will not go to South Korea."

The German foreign ministry issued a statement saying the security question and the possibility of keeping the German team at home would be addressed "in good time."

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho warned that President Donald Trump's bellicose remarks against the Asian country and its leader will make the U.S. mainland an "inevitable" target for rocket strikes.

"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 U.S. mainland inevitable all the more," Ho said at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

United States President Donald Trump took to Twitter to threaten Ri Yong Ho for speaking for Kim Jong Un.

"Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won't be around much longer!," President Trump tweeted.

(Posted on 24 September 2017, 1685699010 3O231O217O107)