Unified Korea at the Winter Olympics

Max Larsen, Sports Editor

North Korea and South Korea will be seen marching together under a unified flag during the opening ceremony at the Winter Olympics. According to Sophie Jeong and James Griffiths from CNN World News, the two nations have also agreed to form a joint North and South Korean women’s ice hockey team to participate in games. “The Korean Unification Flag features a blue silhouette of the peninsula and outlying islands. The two countries have marched under the flag before, in rare shows of unity, first at the 1991 World Table Tennis Championships, and at a number of sporting events since. It was most recently used at the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, Italy,” states CNN.

With these connections, it might potentially have impacts on the border between North and South Korea, which is possibly one of the most dangerous and guarded in the world. With one soldier from each country standing a mere 10 yards away from each other, it definitely is a tense position. Every move made by these men, which is not often, is monitored by multiple guards on each side and security cameras. Just to show how secure this border is, Anna Fifield from The Washington Post states that “a 58-year-old man from Louisiana was arrested by South Korean forces Monday morning for crossing the civilian control line just outside the DMZ as part of an attempt to get into North Korea ‘for political purposes,’ authorities said…He was shot by North Korean soldiers while escaping across the line and is being treated in a hospital, South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff said.”  

But the chance that these ties and connections create a unusual and or different effect on the border is definitely a possibility. Some of these possible effects may include creating a more stable environment on this enclosed range, while still maintaining security rules. However, according to CNN, “John Park, director of the Korea Working Group at the Harvard Kennedy School, warned against viewing the talks as a major breakthrough.” At this moment, the main objective is North and South Korea working together at the Winter Olympics.