For the next few weeks, South Korea will be holding the official 2018 Winter Olympics. A total of 2,952 athletes from over 90 different countries will compete in 102 events including cross-country skiing, speed skating, and snowboarding. Previously, the 2014 Winter Olympics was held in Sochi, Russia, while the 2022 Winter Olympics will be held in Beijing. However, there is one thing that differentiates this Winter Olympics from the previous one: North Korea and South Korea have joined as one team, establishing to the world their solidarity. During the opening ceremony, North Korean and South Korean athletes will walk side by side, waving the Korean peninsula flag. This act symbolizes peace and the possible reconciliation of the divided Koreas.

Photo via Flickr/Republic of Korea

Will this platform enable North Korea and South Korea to hold peace talks and stall off escalating tension, or is this just a strategic scheme for North Korea to restabilize their military standings and strengthen their nuclear programs? While people are torn, it is evident that President Moon’s intentions to perpetuate more peace talks have eased the immediate tensions between North Korea and South Korea. Through the Winter Olympics, Moon Jae In and Kim Jong Un have already met for diplomatic dialogue and recognized that their communal goal is peace in Korea.

As there will be one Korea during the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, Trump has decided to halt joint military exercises with South Korean troops, and Moon has been invited by North Korea for talks. With the Olympics being a first step, there is surely hope that there can be denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and ultimately unification in the near future.

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