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Why the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics Isn’t Just About Sports

The 2018 Olympics are about far more than just sports and medals. It is an attempt to begin the start of improved relations between North and South Korea, neighbors with a long and bloody history with many failed attempts at reconciliation. This year, North and South Korea are participating in various activities together. They are marching under one flag, have a joint women’s ice hockey team, their skiers are training together, and they will have a joint cultural event.

These steps towards improved diplomatic relations are exciting, but the two countries have a long way to go. North Korea is still adamant about keeping their nuclear weapons, and while US-South Korea military drills have been put on hold, they are expected to resume. According to CNN, John Park, the director of the Korea Working Group at the Harvard Kennedy School is quoted saying "Both Koreas are primarily utilizing the talks for a limited objective -- arranging the participation of a North Korean delegation in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.” Right now the spotlight is on Korea, and the North and South and playing nice. Hopefully, once the games end, diplomatic relations can continue to improve.

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Emma Oriol


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