2018 Pyeongchang or Pyongyang Winter Olympics?
Recent North and South Korean diplomatic agreements regarding the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics have sparked some controversies in South Korea.
As the date approaches for the opening ceremony, a number of South Koreans are expressing disapproval of the numerous compromises that the South Korean government has taken to alleviate tensions with North Korea.
Earlier this month, South Korean officials met together with North Korean officials to discuss certain collaborations between the North Korean and South Korean teams participating in the Winter Olympics.
It was agreed that the North and South Korean team would walk together as one team under the Korean Unification flag. In addition, it was decided that the North and South Korean women’s hockey teams would unite as one team.
However, some argue argue that this is an attempt from North Korea to steal South Korea’s spotlight and use its leverage to make the Olympics all about North Korea.
Along with the aforementioned decisions, North Korea will send a 30-member taekwondo demonstration team and 230 cheerleaders, the “army of beauties”, to cheer for North Korean athletes.
There will also be a 140-member orchestra accompanying a top North Korean pop star, Hyon Song-Wol, during her performance on the opening day of the Olympics.
The movement against the South Korean rapprochement methods was organized primarily by the far-right Korean Patriots Party, which is composed predominantly of elderly conservatives in South Korea.
The Korean Patriots Party claimed “The Pyeongchang Winter Olympics is turning into the ‘Kim Jong-Un’s Pyongyang Olympics,’ that effectively recognizes North Korea’s nuclear armaments and propagates it regime.”
There has also been an increasing number of young South Koreans expressing their dissent through videos of them burning photos of Kim Jong-Un and protests outside the South Korean presidential Blue House.
Kim Hyon-Hui, a former North Korean agent responsible for the 1987 Korean Air Flight bombing, claimed that “North Korea is using the Olympics as a weapon. It’s trying to escape the sanctions by holding hands with South Korea, trying to break free from international isolation.”
In addition, South Korean President Moon’s approval rating has been at an all time low since he took office, dropping from 82% to 59.8% this week.