There is no plan B for Pyeongchang Games - IOC's Bach

By Karolos Grohmann
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An ice sculpture of the Olympic rings is illuminated during the Pyeongchang Winter Festival

An ice sculpture of the Olympic rings is illuminated during the Pyeongchang Winter Festival, near the venue for the opening and closing ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, February 10, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

By Karolos Grohmann

LIMA (Reuters) - The International Olympic Committee is not considering any plan B for the Pyeongchang 2018 winter Olympics despite the escalating crisis with North Korea, IOC President Thomas Bach said on Tuesday.

The run-up to the first winter Games in Asia outside Japan has been overshadowed by the diplomatic crisis and the United Nations Security Council unanimously stepped up sanctions on Monday against the country over North Korea's sixth and most powerful nuclear test conducted on Sept. 3.

Bach said any scenario other than holding the Games in Pyeongchang in February next year would be undermining diplomatic efforts for a peaceful solution.

"Speaking now about different scenarios for the Olympic winter Games would send the wrong message," he told at the opening of the IOC session in the Peruvian capital.

"It would be a message against our own belief in peace and diplomacy. It would undermine the efforts of those who are working towards a diplomatic solution so that peace will prevail on the Korean peninsula."

Earlier this month North Korea launched its biggest nuclear bomb test, prompting global condemnation as U.S. President Donald Trump said "appeasement" would not work.

North Korea has warned the United States that it would pay a "due price" for spearheading efforts on U.N. sanctions, which now include a ban on the country's textile exports and capping imports of crude oil.

"We know how volatile this situation continues to be. So we will follow the developments closely and will keep promoting our position," Bach said.

The Pyeongchang Games will run from Feb 9-25.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Ian Ransom)

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