* Date : 2018-01-30
North Korea's participation in the Winter Olympics
North Korea to participate in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics
The IOC approved North Korea's participation in the Winter Olympics on January 20th, following a meeting at Lausanne, Switzerland. The decision will allow a 46-member North Korean team to compete in 5 sporting categories, have the two Koreas march under a unified flag at the opening ceremony and create joint inter-Korean female ice hockey team. In the wake of this agreement, cross-border exchanges have also been carried out in a lively fashion. Pyongyang has sent a pre-inspection team South ahead of its arts performances, while South Korea has also sent inspectors the other way to a North Korean ski resort at Masikryong, which will serve as the training ground for skiiers from both Koreas. With the foreign media showing a high level of interest in North Korea's participation in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, we take a closer look at the details of the agreement and how it came to fruition.
Concerns and criticisms over North Korea's participation
The majority of the South Korean public reacted positively to North Korea's decision to participate in the Olympics that served to thaw cross-border tensions. However, the intial euphoria has given way to a more pessimistic view of the situation. In particular, there are voices of deep concern over the creation of a joint inter-Korean female ice hockey team. The formation of a unified team could disrupt the chemistry between the players in the current squad, who have trained together for a long time., while South Korean players could also lose playing time to accommodate the North Korean players. There are also concerns that North Korea may be acting disingenuous, with hidden, self-serving intentions behind its decision to take part in the Olympics. In this week's edition of Foreign Correspondents, we will hold an in-depth discussion of North Korea's participation in the Winter Olympics with our panel of journalists.