North and South Koreans will march under a unified
Korean flag at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
They will also jointly train at a ski resort, according
to South Korean media.
The inclusion of North Korea marks an opportunity for
improved optics and public relations, but does not necessarily
mean the risk of conflict will decrease.
North and South Korea, two countries still technically at war
since 1950, will march under the flag of a unified Korea during
the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, according to Bloomberg News.
The Koreas will also engage in joint training at a ski resort,
according to South Korea’s Yonhap
The news of the Koreas uniting for the Olympics comes after the
first major talks between the countries in two years, which began
amid soaring tensions between the US, its ally South Korea, and
South Korea’s newly elected President Moon Jae In floated the
idea of North Korea participating in the games early in his
presidency, and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un expressed a
willingness to engage in talks about the Olympics during his New
Years address, during which he also threatened the US with
The unified Korean flag and the inclusion of North Korean
athletes into the game were both discussed during the original
talks, but only recently confirmed.
Despite the invitation, North Korea has few athletes capable of
competing in the games.
Pyongyang will also reportedly send a 180-member orchestra to the
games, but it’s closely tied to North Korean propaganda that
glorifies the country’s missile and nuclear programs and the
regime, which commits human rights violations.
While the inclusion in the Olympics will may seem a bright spot
for multilateral relations, President Donald Trump’s National
Security Adviser reportedly dismissed the talks as “diversions,”
and his Secretary of State said on Wednesday that he would not
rule out a military strike on North Korea.