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KTO says Winter Olympics will help 'ease tensions' between North and South

Korean Tourism Organisation tells press conference the upcoming event will help unify countries

The Korea Tourism Organisation (KTO) has denied existing tensions between its northern neighbours and the US will affect its hosting of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

In a dinner for UK clients and press at Four Seasons Hyde Park Thursday night, KTO president Chang Soo Jung went as far as to say the Olympic event would ease tensions with North Korea.

Speaking through a translator, Soo Jung said South Korea was among the safest countries to visit, pointing out there was no history of attacks on tourists.

When asked about whether KTO was concerned about increasing nuclear threat between North Korea and the US, he laughed and said: "Yes I was expecting that question.

"As you may all know, (Korea, Japan and China) host mega events despite the high expense and this will increase and encourage economic development. In this context, no country would want to escalate the tensions in the Korean peninsula, including the USA. I believe this process of the event will contribute ultimately to terminate the tension in the Korean peninsula."

The dinner also previewed the Winter Olympic Games, saying it would be the first games to use humanoid robots to carry out activities like the torch relay, PR activities and in information services.

Its average completion of infrastructure for the games was 96 per cent, with four of the six venues complete.

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