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South Korean players should not be victimized

Posted January. 17, 2018 08:47,   

Updated January. 17, 2018 09:14


A vice-ministerial level talk was held in relation to North Korea’s participation of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics at the Peace House located in the southern part of Panmunjom. Practically, all matters were covered except for the matter dealt on Monday regarding North Korea sending its art troupe. The two Koreas will wrap up their discussions on North Korea’s participation in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics after meeting the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne, Switzerland on Saturday based on the result of today’s discussion.

Today’s talk, which is three weeks prior to the Winter Games, covered sensitive issues such as the North Korean delegation’s visit path, expenses for stay, entering the opening ceremony together and organizing a single team for women’s ice hockey team. As there is a saying, “The devil is in detail,” every single detail in the agreement during the Olympics may influence the relation between the two Koreas and international relationship in a negative way. South Korea stated Monday that it would “ensure the convenience of Samjiyon Band at the Seoul〮Gangreung performance. However, the international community may regard this as violating sanctions against North Korea. It is important to wipe out concerns by disclosing all kinds of support transparently, whether direct or indirect, and give the entire picture when a certain action may indispensably result in conflict regarding sanctions against North Korea, ensuring that it is only temporary.

The major focus during Wednesday’s meeting is the two Koreas entering the opening ceremony together and organizing a single women’s hockey team. It is evident that the joint entrance of South Korea and North Korea as well as a single women’s hockey team will guarantee North Korea’s participation, not to mention an event that can promote a peaceful atmosphere of the Korean Peninsula. Nevertheless, as much as the positive influence this event may bring, there is potential of a side effect. In particular, as conflicts over organizing a single team rose, South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon said, “North Korean players are not taking the quota for South Korean players. The scope of the team is going to get bigger.” However, it is doubtful whether he was able to consider the confusion South Korean players must have gone through that they may not be able to participate in the Olympic games.

North Korea’s participation in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics itself alleviated the nervousness of people around the world as it lowered the possibility of nuclear missile provocation. However, it is important not to get carried away by events participated by the two Korea by relying on the result of a “peaceful Olympic.” The fact that North Korea is pushing forward an appeasement plan and making threats at the same time that “a festival may turn into a disaster” is because North Korea believes that this can be an opportunity to take advantage of South Korea’s obsession over the peaceful sports events. Olympics should be about the players and the sports, and improvised peace events should not hurt the feelings of South Korean players.