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What does the “unified” Korean Olympic team say about their future?


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One of the main controversies of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics revolves around the host nation- South Korea.

 

The formerly united nation of Korea split into North and South Korea- with North Korea under communist rule and South Korea a republic- after World War Two, when the country was split between the Soviet Union and the United States. Since then, As their heavily fortified border suggests, their relationship has been precarious at best.However, for the 2018 Winter Olympic games, North and South Korea are united under one team, one flag and one name – Korea.

 

The unified Korean women’s hockey team faced Switzerland on Saturday, February 10. Twelve North Koreans joined the South Korean team, expanding their roster to 35 players.  Although Switzerland demolished the Korean team, (winning 8-0), the crowd still went wild whenever the Koreans had the puck. At the end of the match, when the Koreans had officially been announced as the losers, a giant white banner with the words “We Are One” hung in the stands and North Korean cheerleaders chanted the same mantra- “We are one, we are one, we are one”- over and over and over.

 

“I really appreciate South Korea and North Korea walking under the same flag,” says Isabella Banich, a junior at Milton. “The athletes…are embracing their unity, even joining their women’s hockey team together. It shows improvement in the relationship between these countries, and it offers hope that this peace will continue to grow.”

 

But how does this point of view hold up? Does the sheer unity of North and South Korea override the crimes of the North Korean regime? Is it a good thing that the two long-feuding nations have come together for this event, or is it upsetting that the terrifying communism of North Korea is being embraced?

 

According to the Washington Post, the Olympics will not solve any future problems between the two nations or the recent conflicts between North Korea and the United States. “The problem with this Olympic peace parade is that nothing has really been resolved,” says David Ignatius. Once the games have ended, all the same problems will continue to exist. If the United States resumes military exercises, North Korea may go back to testing missiles and bombs.”

 

As the Olympic games continue, tensions will only continue to rise between the united Korean team and the rest of the wary world.

 

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What does the “unified” Korean Olympic team say about their future?