The PyeongChang Olympics get political

John Bozick, Web Editor

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The Olympics has long been a time for peace and cooperation among the world’s nations, yet despite this rare show of diplomacy, politics has often been shunned under Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter. The 2018 Winter Olympic Games started off as a different affair, as with the tone for most events in the world today, politics and political statements have run rampant throughout the games.

This year’s Winter Olympics has been characterized by one thing, the semi-unified Korean team that marched under one flag during the opening ceremony and skated under a combined women’s hockey team. A rare move since the two countries technically remain at war, this has seen a slight thaw in relations throughout the Korean Peninsula.

Yet while this sign of peace between the two Koreas has been celebrated by many, Vice President Mike Pence, who attended the games opening ceremony, has assured the world that we have never been more unified in isolating North

“There is no daylight between the United States, the Republic of Korea, and Japan on the need to continue to isolate North Korea economically and diplomatically until they abandon their nuclear ballistic missile program.”, said Pence while attending the 2018 games opening ceremony.

Pence, who did not stand for the combined Korean teams anthem during the opening ceremony, has used his attendance at the games to continue the Trump administration’s anti-North Korea campaign. The Vice President was seated mere feet away from the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Kim Yo-jong.

Yet, while US-North Korean continue to give each other the silent treatment, the games did see a rare moment of peace between the two rival Korea’s outside of the games, as Kim Jong Un formally extended an invitation for a state visit to Pyongyang to South Korean President, and firm advocate for relations with the North, Moon Jae-in.

Moon responded positively to this request, stating, “Let us make it happen by creating the necessary conditions in the future.”

Moon shocked the world during an unexpected handshake with the Kim Yo-jung and Kim Yon-nam. Yo-jung was also the first member of the ruling North Korean family dynasty to set foot in the South since her grandfather Kim II-sung, was last in the south during the fall of Seoul during the Korean War.

A meeting between Moon and Un would be monumental given that the two countries have never ceased the Korean War, remaining separated by the infamous demilitarized zone since 1953, when a formal ceasefire was signed that ended the fighting in the Korean war. Both countries have remained in a formal state of war since then, with multiple skirmishes occurring around the militarized border.

In a time when Washington seems more and more irrational in its actions, this sign of peace among the two Koreas provides a sigh of relief for much of the world. If Moon and Un’s meeting is a success, perhaps a more peaceful end to the crisis on the Korean Peninsula is possible.