Foreign Pulse: Koreas’ Olympic thaw - Dreams of peace rise

Chaulia, Sreeram (2018) Foreign Pulse: Koreas’ Olympic thaw - Dreams of peace rise. Deccan Chronicle.

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Pyongyang is coming to Pyeongchang. The 2018 Winter Olympics, being hosted by South Korea from February 9 to 25, will witness the rare sight of athletes from sworn antagonists North and South Korea marching together under a “unification flag” in the opening ceremony and fielding a combined team in the women’s ice hockey event. The spectacle is all the more captivating because there are simultaneous visits by North Korean art troupes, orchestras and high-ranking government officials to the South to make the Pyeongchang Olympics an unforgettable visual moment in international history. For the instinctively secretive and jingoistic North Korea to cheer a Winter Olympics being hosted by its arch-rival is not an insignificant step. When South Korea was to host the Summer Olympics in 1988, then North Korean dictator Kim Il-Sung ordered a boycott and unleashed his intelligence agents to blow up a South Korean passenger plane months before the Seoul Games, killing all 125 people on board in midair. The North’s motive was to create international panic about safety and security in the South, and thereby scare away foreigners from attending the Seoul Olympics. Nonetheless, the North’s terror ploy failed and the 1988 Summer Games were hugely successful. Never willing to concede the inter-Korean ego contest of one-upmanship, the North organised a parallel Olympics-level event of its own in 1989 by spending an estimated $4 billion and crowing about how more country delegations were its guests than at the Seoul Olympics.

Item Type: Article in News Papers and Magazine
Keywords: Pyongyang | Pyeongchang | 2018 Winter Olympics | South Korea
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Social Sciences (General)
Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > International Relations
JGU School/Centre: Jindal School of International Affairs
Depositing User: Subhajit Bhattacharjee
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2022 15:01
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2022 15:01
Official URL:


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