Sydney, Dec 13 (EFE).- South Korea is not planning to boycott the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and has not been asked to do so, the country’s president said Monday.
It is the first time Moon Jae-in has spoken on the topic after the United States announced last week that it will not send diplomats to the Games over concerns of Beijing’s human rights abuses. Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia, where Moon is currently on a state visit, joined the diplomatic boycott.
“The South Korean government is not considering (a boycott),” Moon said when asked about the issue during a joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Canberra.
“Regarding a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics, we have not been asked by the United States or any other nation to join,” he added.
It is a delicate matter for South Korea, which has its main military ally and second-biggest trading partner in the US and its number one trading partner in China.
China, from which North Korea gets 90 percent of its imports, is also a key figure in bringing Pyongyang back to the denuclearization negotiating table.
The boycott pours cold water on Seoul’s plans to use Beijing 2022, starting Feb. 4, as a stage to promote reconciliation on the peninsula.
Moon has been promoting the signing of a peace agreement to formally end the Korean War (1950-1953), which was signed off with a ceasefire only, and serves as a security guarantor for Pyongyang and allows the regime to return to denuclearization negotiations, stalled since 2019.
“The United States, China and North Korea have all expressed their agreement in theory, in principle,” Moon said of the agreement.
The North Korean army, the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army and the United Nations Command, a coalition led by Washington, signed the ceasefire on July 27, 1953. EFE