Dear Olympic friends,

We are at the start of a great Olympic Year 2018.

When the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 begin in just a few weeks, it will be the first time that the magic of Olympic sport on snow and ice will come to the Republic of Korea. They will showcase a modern Korea and connect its passion to the world. Thanks to the excellent work of the PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee, the stage is set for the best winter sport athletes of the world to amaze us all with their sporting performances.

At the same time, we know about the political tensions on the Korean Peninsula. The IOC has addressed them already since 2015. This happened through close contact with the leaders of governments and NOCs concerned. In all these discussions, the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 were never put in doubt. On the contrary, we feel support for our position that the Olympic Games must always be beyond all political division. The Olympic Games are about dialogue. They are a symbol of hope and peace. In our troubled times, they are the only event that bring the whole world together in peaceful competition. To ensure this for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, we keep monitoring the situation very closely.

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