Preparations are on in full swing to hold the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, and with 100 days left, the Olympic flame has arrived in the Incheon airport of South Korea. It was nearly three decades after the 1998 Seoul Summer Olympics.

The flame was received at the airport by Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon, and he was accompanied by Kim Yuna who is a figure skater and former Olympiad. The two of them lit the flame in a ceremonial cauldron to start the Olympic torch relay. It will travel all over the country and cover more than 2000-Km before reaching the PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9.

There is suspense over the participation of North Korea because, in case Pyongyang does join the event, it could help to reduce the tension in the region.

The security aspects

CNN reports that security of the 2018 Winter Olympics in the current volatile situation is a matter of concern for the organizers. PyeongChang, the venue of the events, is hardly 80-Km from North Korea, and the missile tests carried out by it have soured the atmosphere. The regular exchange of words between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un is playing spoilsport. They have dampened the spirits of the organizers who have had to concentrate on providing extra security cover for the games.

Even though the relation between the North and the South have been far from normal for decades, South Korea has held many sports events on earlier occasions in spite of threats from its neighbor.

Some of these are important events like the Seoul Olympics, World Athletics Championships, Asian Games etcetera.

The organizers have assured that special security drills are being carried out on a regular basis by specialized teams to ensure the safety of the participants.

Preparations on in full swing

The stadiums, arenas and villages ear-marked for the 2018 Winter Olympics are getting ready.

Most of the work is complete and are waiting for the finishing touches. Restaurant owners in PyeongChang are preparing to welcome foreign tourists, and have already translated their menus into English, Japanese and Chinese.

However, North Korea continues to remain a big question mark. With 100 days left, people still hope that Pyongyang will finally agree to send its players.

It may be recalled that when Moon Jae-in had taken over the reins of South Korea, he had expressed a desire to normalize relations with the North. He had suggested that sports could play an important role in this respect, and the forthcoming Winter Olympics could provide the much-needed opportunity.