While relations between North Korea and the U.S. remain frosty, at best, international pressure on Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapon ambitions will continue throughout the Games too, according to Wolfango Piccoli, co-president of risk consultancy Teneo Intelligence.
"The region's powers are already maneuvering for the next round of brinksmanship regarding North Korea's nuclear and missile programs," Piccoli said in a research note Monday.
China, North Korea's neighbor and erstwhile ally, has been ambivalent over sanctions on North Korea, not wanting to destabilize the regime nor antagonize President Donald Trump, Haenle said. He added that Trump is likely to continue to push his counterpart Xi Jinping to more strictly enforce sanctions against Pyongyang and address DPRK efforts to circumvent those sanctions.
"China wants to appear responsive to the U.S. administration's requests. Yet, China will continue to try to prevent certain forms of U.S. and international pressure on the Pyongyang regime, which they fear would be too destabilizing," Haenle said.
As for the games, he noted that they "provided a valuable opportunity" for Vice President Pence and the U.S.' partners and allies "to coordinate on possible next steps. As regional tensions resume, it is important that leaders from the U.S., China, Republic of Korea and Japan continue to have high-level, candid dialogues and phone calls to present a united response to the North Korean threat."
Disclosure: CNBC parent NBCUniversal owns NBC Sports and NBC Olympics. NBC Olympics is the U.S. broadcast rights holder to all Summer and Winter Games through the year 2032.