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Lindsey Graham
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. speaks during a Senate Finance Committee hearing to consider the Graham-Cassidy healthcare proposal, on Capitol Hill, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Lindsey Graham said if North Korea attends the Olympics, 'we do not'


Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) says the U.S. should not attend the 2018 Winter Olympics if North Korea joins the sporting contest.

“Allowing Kim Jong Un’s North Korea to participate in #WinterOlympics would give legitimacy to the most illegitimate regime on the planet,” he tweeted Monday, referencing the North Korean leader.

“I’m confident that South Korea will reject this absurd overture and fully believe that if North Korea goes to the Winter Olympics, we do not.”

South Korea on Tuesday offered North Korea high-level talks amid tensions between the two nations over the latter’s weapons programs.

“We look forward to candidly discussing interests from both sides face-to-face with North Korea along with the North’s participating in the Pyeongchang Winter Games,” South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myong-gyon told reporters, according to Reuters.

“I repeat: The government is open to talking with North Korea, regardless of time, location and form.”

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Cho said he expects the dialogue, if it occurs, to focus upon North Korea’s involvement with the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea next month.

South Korea’s unification minister also noted, however, that the conversation would include other topics, such as denuclearization of North Korea.

Cho added that South Korea had proposed speaking with North Korea on Jan. 9, a date which would mark the first official discussions between the neighbors since 2015.

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Kim on Monday suggested immediate talks with South Korea about his nation sending a delegation to the Olympics next month.

“North Korea’s participation in the Winter Games will be a good opportunity to show unity of people, and we wish the Games will be a success,” he said during his New Year’s Day speech.

“A nuclear button is always on my desk,” Kim added. “The entire United States is within range of our nuclear weapons.”

North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test last September, stoking fears about the evolution of its weapons arsenal.

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