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North Korea may give ‘fatal blow’ to 2018 Olympics, warns South Korea

North Korea could deliver a “fatal blow” to the 2018 Winter Olympics if it launches a missile or stages another provocation before the event, a South Korean minister warned Thursday.

Unification Minister Cho Myoung-Gyon made the remarks as reports said annual South Korea-US military exercises might be postponed to avoid coinciding with the winter games and paralympics in South Korea’s Pyeongchang.

“If the North provokes again at a time when the Olympic Games are imminent, it may deal a fatal blow to the Olympics,” he said at a forum in Seoul.

“Therefore it is important to stage the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in a stable atmosphere”, he added.

The world’s largest winter sports festival takes place from February 9 to 25, 2018. The Paralympics are scheduled to begin on March 9.

Both will be held in the mountainous resort town of Pyeongchang, 80 kilometres (50 miles) south of the tense border with North Korea.

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