Graham: I 'fully believe that if North Korea goes to the Winter Olympics, we do not'

Graham: I 'fully believe that if North Korea goes to the Winter Olympics, we do not'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump's biggest political obstacle is Trump The Hill's Equilibrium — Presented by NextEra Energy — Tasmanian devil wipes out penguin population The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden support, gas tax questions remain on infrastructure MORE (R-S.C.) on Monday said if North Korea goes to the Winter Olympics, the U.S. should not attend.

"Allowing Kim Jong Un’s North Korea to participate in #WinterOlympics would give legitimacy to the most illegitimate regime on the planet," Graham tweeted.

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


South Korea is hosting the 2018 Winter Olympics, set to begin next month in Pyeongchang.


On Monday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made comments about the Winter Olympics in a New Year's Day speech, indicating that the nation was ready to attend the games.

“North Korea’s participation in the Winter Games will be a good opportunity to show unity of the people, and we wish the games will be a success,” Kim said, according to NBC News.

North Korea did not participate in the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

South Korea has proposed talks with its northern neighbor as tensions remain over North Korea's aggression and nuclear ambition ahead of the upcoming Olympics.

South Korea's unification minister said he thinks the talks would be held in Panmunjom, on the border, and would likely center around Pyongyang’s athletes partaking in the Olympics, Reuters reported.

“We look forward to candidly discussing interests from both sides face-to-face with North Korea along with the North’s participation in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics,” said Cho Myong-gyon, as reported by the news service. 

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

Last month, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the U.S. looks forward to participating in the Olympics, comments that came after she suggested at a briefing that no decision had been made to send U.S. athletes to the Winter Olympics.

“The protection of Americans is our top priority and we are engaged with the South Koreans and other partner nations to secure the venues,” Sanders wrote on Twitter last month.