SEOUL, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Seoul’s presidential Blue House rejected criticism on Tuesday that next month’s Winter Games will be the “Pyongyang Olympics”, saying the event will help defuse tensions over North Korea’s weapons programmes.
Some opposition politicians and conservative civic in South Korea have been criticising North Korea’s participation in the Games, to be held in the South Korean alpine resort town of Pyeongchang.
“Just one month ago, acute tensions gripped the Korean peninsula,” Blue House spokesman Park Soo-hyun told a news conference. “We can’t understand putting an outdated tag of ‘Pyongyang Olympics’ to the Pyeongchang Olympics, which will be a ‘peace Olympics’.”
Small but vocal groups of South Korean demonstrators staged a protest at Seoul’s central train station on Monday where a North Korean delegation had arrived. One sign at the protest read: “We’re opposed to Kim Jong Un’s Pyongyang Olympics!”. (Reporting by Hyonhee Shin; Editing by Richard Pullin)