2018 Olympics a Good Sign for the Korean Peninsula

No Comment

North Korea will send 22 athletes who will compete at the winter Olympics after talks were held between the two Korean officials and the Olympics Committee on Saturday. Athletes from both North Korea and South Korea will march under one unified flag at the opening ceremony for this year’s Olympic Games and will be competing together.

IOC president Thomas Bach released a statement on Tuesday announcing a agreement between the IOC, North and South Korea. “These proposals mark a great step forward in the Olympic spirit,” Bach said. He later went on to state, “”The Olympic spirit is about respect, dialogue and understanding,” Bach added following the announcement in Lausanne.

The athletes from both countries will be competing in 5 sports this year- ice hockey, figure Skating, ice Skating, short track speed skating, cross country skating and alpine skating. He also confirmed that for the first time in history, both North and South Korea will enter a combined ice hockey team under the name of Korea and a unified flag.

Following talks, the IOC have made a outline of how the North Korean athletes will compete in this year’s winter games. The current South Korean women’s ice hockey team would be inclusive of 12 North Korean players and one North Korean official. Although only 22 players are allowed to play each match, the agreement states that the players will be selected by the South Korean coach. However, 3 North Korean players must be included per match.

Bach later reiterated that the agreement was ‘not an easy journey’. However, it was one that he was very much proud of the two Korean countries, the IOC, and the Pyeongchang 2018 Organizing Committee achieving.

Many have since questioned the motives of both the IOC and North Korea, specifically how this would affect political tensions which are rising. Bach was quick to shoot down these claims saying, “The Olympic Games are always about building bridges, they never erect walls. The Olympic spirit is about respect, dialogue and understanding. The Olympic Winter Games Pyeongchang 2018 are hopefully opening the door to a brighter future on the Korean Peninsula and inviting the world to join in a celebration of hope.”.

The South Korean President has himself said “I will strive to make the Pyeongchang Olympics the ‘Peace Olympics’ and furthermore to peacefully resolve the North Korean nuclear issue so that this can be a year when peace is cultivated on the Korean Peninsula,”

These positive outcomes from Olympic diplomacy could serve as a opening dialogue that could go well beyond the games. It is certainly worth taking a look at how these talks could potentially impact political and diplomatic talks between North Korea and several countries. Most importantly, as US Undersecretary for public diplomacy put it, “anything that lowers tension is a positive development”.

Featured Image: https://www.rte.ie/news/2018/0121/934845-south-korea-north-korea-olympics/

About the author

Chris Yang is a boarding student from Singapore and a member of the St. Mark’s class of 2021. Chris loves sports, and plays on the tennis, squash and soccer teams at St. Mark’s. Academically, Chris enjoys the sciences, math and history, and spent last summer learning about the frontiers of science and technology at Yale University. At St. Mark’s, Chris is a House Prefect, tour guide and a member of the Students for Sustainability. Through the Parkman Post, Chris hopes to share his interests in sustainability, new technologies and issues affecting developing countries and indigenous communities.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked (required)

Also in this Issue

How Partisan Politics are Shaping the Future Through Education

It’s not a national secret that the quality of public education is unequal across the United States. While the U.S. Department of Education directs federal financial aid, collects data on American schools, and advocates for equal access to education across the nation, the federal government only provides for about 8 percent of the total capital spent on education every year, making states responsible for the majority of financing. Read more →

Howdy’s Homemade Ice Cream: A Store Making a Difference

Tom Landis' "Howdy Homemade Ice Cream" in University Park, Texas is famous for not only their friendly customer service but also their best employees. The entire store and process was created to accommodate people with different abilities. For example, the cash register only accepts bills, simplifying the process of different transactions. Read more →

“Two in Four People are Jewish”

“Two in four people in Brooklyn are Jewish”; that is not a definite fact, but it’s a figure of speech my grandmother claims to be true. She repeats this phrase as a hope, as a reminder, as a prayer, as if in some way saying it makes it true. Read more →