Olympic Unity

February 23, 2018
HOPES FOR PEACE IOC president Thomas Bach (center, in profile) sits between North and South Korean leaders at a women’s ice-hockey game on February 10.
JEAN CATUFFE—GETTY IMAGES

South Korea hosted the Olympics in 1988. North Korea refused to attend. This time, North Korea has sent 22 athletes to PyeongChang, South Korea, for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

“[The Olympics] are hopefully opening the door to a brighter future,” said Thomas Bach. He is president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The opening ceremony took place on February 9. Athletes from the two Koreas marched under a single flag. The countries have also formed a joint women’s ice-hockey team. These actions are a rare show of unity between North and South Korea. The nations have been enemies since 1950. That is when the North invaded the South. The Korean War ended in 1953. There was a cease-fire. But a peace treaty was never signed.

On January 1, 2018, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un spoke. He said he was “open to dialogue” with the South.

South Korean president Moon Jae-in welcomed the chance to improve relations. He hopes for an “Olympic Games of peace.” Kim Yo-jong (above, third from right) is Kim’s sister. She went to South Korea for the first time for the Games. She invited Moon to the North for a summit meeting.

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