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The Latest: White House 'looks forward' to Winter Olympics

(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File). FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2017, file photo, Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, speaks during a Security Council meeting on the situation in North Korea, at United Nations headquarters. The U.S. Olympic Com... (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File). FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2017, file photo, Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, speaks during a Security Council meeting on the situation in North Korea, at United Nations headquarters. The U.S. Olympic Com...

By The Associated Press

The Latest on the Olympic games in Pyeongchang (all times local):

2:30 p.m.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders says the U.S. "looks forward to participating" in the Winter Olympics in South Korea.

She tweeted that update minutes after saying at a briefing that no official decision had been made.

Her tweet reads: "The U.S. looks forward to participating in the Winter Olympics in South Korea. The protection of Americans is our top priority and we are engaged with the South Koreans and other partner nations to secure the venues."

Heightened tensions on the Korea peninsula have raised safety questions about U.S. participation. Sanders had earlier said "no official decision has been," but that the American goal was to attend.

___

2:15 p.m.

The White House spokeswoman says "no official decision has been made" about whether the U.S. will participate in the Olympic games set to take place next year in South Korea.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders tells reporters at a White House briefing that a decision will be made closer to the games' date.

She says: "I know that the goal is to do so but that'll be a decision made closer to the time."

U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley cast doubt on U.S. participation in an interview with Fox News Channel on Wednesday, given the tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

She told Fox News Channel that U.S. participation is "an open question."

___

1:01 p.m.

The U.S. Olympic Committee still plans on bringing teams to the Pyeongchang Games in February despite U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley casting doubt on U.S. participation.

In an interview Wednesday with Fox News Channel, Haley was asked if it's an open question about whether the U.S. team will compete at the Olympics in South Korea, given the tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

"There's an open question," she said. "I have not heard anything about that. But I do know that in the talks that we have, whether it's Jerusalem, whether it's North Korea, it's always about, how do we do protect the U.S. citizens in the area."

USOC spokesman Mark Jones released a statement Thursday in response, saying the committee had not had any discussions, either internally or with government officials.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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