South Korea Offers To Build a Unified Korean Olympic Team, But North Korea Refuses Its’ Southern Neighbor’s Offer

North Korea has rejected an offer from South Korea to form a unified team for the Olympics. In this session, we will learn about the offer, history of collaborations and so on.

The Offer

Recently, South Korea offered North Korea to form a unified team for the Winter Olympics of next year. South’s new President Moon Jae-in backed proposals for a collaboration after it was suggested by sports minister Do Jong-hwan.

Do Jong-hwan had initially suggested on a joint ice hockey team, even going as far as to suggest they might allow the north to host skiing events, to help make the 2018 games a “peace Olympics”.

President Moon, who advocates greater dialogue with North Korea, then put forward the idea of a wider unified Olympic squad.

Source: BBC (The Winter Olympiccs of 2018 will be held in South Korea)
Source: BBC (South Korea will host the Winter Olympics of 2018)

The Winter Olympics next year will take place from 9-25 February, in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

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Response From North Korea

However, the North Korean International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Chang Un dismissed the idea, saying there was no time to negotiate a deal.

He told local media,

“It took us 22 rounds of talks to set up that joint [table tennis] team… it took us five months.

That’s the reality we face.”

Chang also said that the games should not be used for political purposes, adding,

“As an expert of the Olympics, it is a little late to be talking about co-hosting. It’s easy to talk about co-hosting, but it is never easy to solve practical problems for that. It’s the same for forming a joint team for ice hockey.”

Collaboration In The Past

The two Korean sides have played in the same team before once, at the 1991 World Table Tennis Championships.

Source: Metro (North Korean and South Korean Players Hoist the Unified Korea Flag)
Source: Metro (North Korean and South Korean Players Hoist the Unified Korea Flag)

Response To The North Korean Side

Meanwhile, the South Korean officials have said they continue to be open to the idea.

The Animosity Between North Korea and South Korea

North Korea and South Korea remain technically at war to date, as the fighting at the end of the Korean War in 1953 did not end with a peace treaty. Tensions have risen recently following repeated missiles tests carried out by the North Korean side.

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Short Bio of Kim Jong-un

Kim Jong-un is the chairman of the Worker’s Party of Korea (WPK) and supreme leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), commonly referred to as North Korea. More bio…