South Korea is hosting officials and executives from around 120 embassies and companies Friday to assure them that February's Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang will be safe -- despite nuclear threats from nearby North Korea.
The country’s Foreign Ministry planned to host officials from the U.S., Japan, Russia and China, as well as business leaders from the region and Europe, Reuters reported.
One official said the purpose of the meeting will be to “actively explain the Olympics will be safe.”
The Winter Games are scheduled for Feb. 9-25.
The ministry added in a statement that meeting attendees will receive a briefing on the threat of North Korea and what efforts the South Korean government is taking to guarantee safety.
The meeting on safety comes despite previous public statements that the Games will be safe. Lee Hee-Beom, president of the 2018 Winter Games organizing committee, previously said the event will have “perfect security,” Rappler reported.
In August, just a week before North Korea fired the first of two missiles over Japan, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach claimed there was “no reason for any immediate concern” about military action in the Korean Peninsula.
Bach also said in last month that there is no “plan B” to change the location of the Olympics. “There is so far not even a hint that there is a threat for the security of the Games in the context of the tensions between North Korea and some other countries,” the IOC president told reporters, according to Reuters.
South Korea has already ramped up security measures for the Games, according to Reuters, including upgrading its cyber defense team and doubling the number of troops in attendance at the Games.
Tensions between North Korea and the U.S. and its allies have increased in recent months following North Korean weapons tests and President Donald Trump’s fiery rhetoric toward Kim Jong Un.
The hostilities have sparked speculation on whether sports fans would want to attend events just 50 miles away from the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea.
South Korean organizers hoped to attract roughly 1 million spectators for the event, with more than two-thirds of ticket buyers expected to be local Koreans. But only 52,000 tickets were sold domestically through June.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.