Mon | Feb 19, 2018

Jamaica, no problem - South Korean charge d'affaires confident Winter Olympics safe

Published:Monday | February 5, 2018 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer

Jamaicans traveling to PyeongChang, South Korea, for the 2018 Winter Olympics have nothing to fear, says the country's Charge d'Affaires Young-Gyu Lee.

His assurance comes as the 92 teams begin arriving in the Asian nation for the start of the Games, which are scheduled for February 9 to 25. The two Koreas are technically still at war, following the July 27, 1953 armistice.

Now that tensions have been eased, Lee said he wants to assure Jamaicans of their safety and well-being while in PyeongChang.

He said that it was vital that Jamaicans who plan on making the trip to witness the Games be made to feel comfortable and safe, while in South Korea.

Jamaica will be represented by Carrie Russell and Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian.

"There is nothing to worry about while in Korea; I know that there may be lingering cause for some people to worry, but I am assuring the whole Jamaica - and, by extension, everyone coming - that it will be totally safe and exciting," Lee said.

"Jamaicans are lovely people and anywhere they go they are warmly welcomed. We are looking forward to them bringing their unique style and lively colours to PyeongChang," he added.

 

CLOSE TO RENEWED HOSTILITIES

 

Hostile rhetoric between the North's leader Kim Jung-un and US President Donald Trump only served to bring the nations ever so close to renewed hostilities.

Subsequent attempts aimed at de-escalating tensions have resulted in an agreement that will see the North sending high-ranking officials, athletes, cheering and performing arts squads, taekwondo demonstration teams and journalists to PyeongChang. It means that a unified Korean team will participate under one Korean flag.

North Korea will be sending 22 athletes to compete in five disciplines including women's hockey, figure skating, short track speed skating, cross-country skiing and alpine skiing.

"It is expected that the Olympics and Paralympics Winter Games will be another great opportunity for Korea and Jamaica to deepen friendship and I must say that people in my country is looking forward to welcoming talented Jamaican athletes.

I remember the success of Jamaica's Cool Runnings team in Canada and we are hoping for a similar achievement and better in Korea for our Jamaican friends," Lee told The Gleaner.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com