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2017-11-22 17:22
An earthquake hit the southeastern port city of Pohang last week and avian influenza broke out again in the nearby coastal region.

The United States and North Korea resumed their war of words. Now the question is: Can Korea host the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in February as scheduled?

Pohang is still struggling to deal with the aftermath of the natural disaster that even forced the annual state-run examination for college entrance to be pushed back a week to today.

The public still vividly remembers that the previous bird flu epidemic resulted in the culling of 38 million chickens and ducks across the nation due to the authorities’ poor management.

The detected virus was found to be highly contagious with a high mortality rate. It is needless to say the central government should take every quarantine measure in close cooperation with regional governments and farmers, taking a lesson from last year's slack supervision and control.

The PyeongChang Winter Olympics is scheduled for Feb. 8 to 25. The possible spread of bird flu may trouble the global event.

Authorities should also step up the salvage work before the freezing cold comes after the quake that already left more than 1,000 citizens homeless, damaged 7,000 buildings and injured about 90 people.

As well, the U.S. designated the North as a sponsor of terrorism again. In return, Pyongyang sharpened its ax. No doubt, the two adversaries will raise tension on the Korean Peninsula.

The Moon Jae-in administration has to show Korea is safe to reassure Olympic participants. It would be a major test of the government’s competence and the nation as well.

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