NBC staff fear for their safety, worried that North Korea will launch a nuclear attack during the Winter Olympics.
“They usually all want to sign up for the Olympics, but they’re afraid to get nuked,” a source told Page Six, referring to nuclear worries shared by staff at the broadcaster.
This year NBCUniversial is scheduled to provide 2,400 hours of coverage across the web, mobile, and television channels. It’s a record amount of coverage for a Winter Olympics. It’s more coverage than NBC provided viewers of the last two Winter Olympics combined, according to Broadcasting & Cable.
Despite the tremendous feat NBC has planned, workers fear nuclear tension could erupt in the region.
“If NBC News employees have concerns about attending, they are not required to go, as was the policy with [the Rio Summer Olympics in 2016] and Zika fears,” another source told Page Six.
North Korea provided a recent setback to South Korea’s plan to fill Olympic stadiums when the regime launched a missile last week. The missile was seen by people aboard multiple passenger aircraft that were in flight, including two Korean Air jets flying between the United States and South Korea, The Straits Times reported.
Despite the fears, an official with the Olympics organizing group said that there haven’t been any talks of halting the games.
“It wouldn’t make sense for anyone to cancel tickets to Pyeongchang because of fears about North Korea,” Sung Baikyou told NBC 10. “There’s no war; bombs aren’t being dropped on Pyeongchang.”
But ticket sales are still behind expectations. Olympic officials talked about a backup system if sales do not reach their targets. They will seek the aid of local governments and schools if needed, Reuters reported.
“We have to trust the Koreans. They said there would be a last minute surge of sales. The intention is to get to 90 percent at the start of the Games which would be a fabulous result,” said IOC Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi, via Reuters.
According to the Daily Mail, previous deadly actions from North Korea shook South Korea during international athletic competition. During the 2002 World Cup, North Korean patrol boats crossed the maritime border into South Korea and attacked. Six South Korean sailors were killed. Ahead of the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, North Korean spies blew up a Korean Air flight, killing all 104 passengers and 11 crew members.
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