No Samsung phones, Nike uniforms for North Koreans? Sanctions cloud Olympic perks

North Korean delegation arrives at customs after inspecting venues for the 2018 Winter Olympics on January 22, 2018.

Korea Pool | Getty Images

North Korean delegation arrives at customs after inspecting venues for the 2018 Winter Olympics on January 22, 2018.

All of the almost 3,000 athletes competing at the upcoming Pyeongchang Winter Olympics are set to get perks including the latest $930 Samsung smartphones, top of the range brand-new equipment to take home in addition to also sleek Nike uniforms.

All except perhaps the 22 athletes through North Korea.

Tough international sanctions including travel restrictions in addition to also a ban on the sale of luxury goods in addition to also sports gear have complicated South Korean Olympic organisers’ efforts to provide their northern neighbors with the same benefits available to various other Olympians.

For months, South Korean President Moon Jae-in has sought North Korea’s participation from the hopes This kind of will ease tensions between the still officially warring nations in addition to also prevent the kind of violent incidents which have plagued previous major events hosted by the South.

Officials have rolled out the red carpet in addition to also are keen to make sure the visits go off without a hitch.

North Korean female ice hockey players in addition to also their South Korean teammates, who will compete as one nation from the Games for the very first time, have been living in addition to also training together This kind of week, even sharing a birthday cake.

various other members of the North Korean delegation, such as the cheer squad, will be housed in luxury hotels.

Overshadowing those efforts, however, are a host of U.S. in addition to also U.N. Security Council sanctions on Pyongyang over its efforts to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the United States.

At almost every turn, South Korea has had to go great lengths to make sure its hospitalities don’t run afoul of sanctions or various other laws, according to several South Korean officials.

Just raising the North Korean flag alongside various other national banners from the Olympic Villages required an exemption through South Korean laws banning praise of the North Korea regime, a Pyeongchang organizing committee official told Reuters.

The officials all declined to be identified due to the sensitive nature of the matter.

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