sports

2 Koreas agree to form first unified Olympic team

75 Comments
By HYUNG-JIN KIM

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.


75 Comments
Login to comment

Whilst it is a nice gesture, I'm sorry to say that it is only that - a gesture. At the moment the North and South are still massively apart, and I wonder if Moon is pushing this because his policy on getting North Korea to just stop threatening to murder its neighbours - let alone get rid of its nukes - is going nowhere.

-4 ( +12 / -16 )

Gesture or otherwise, it's quite an accomplishment that the two sides could agree on this and get it done!

I wish them ALL the best.

23 ( +29 / -6 )

Like a Monet, this all looks great on the wall and in the front, but unfortunately truth be told that is all it is. While the SK's are busy focusing and ecstatic about these developments literally drooling, the NK's are digging and busy building. But one can't say they told them so as Moon's failure's of communication keep digging them deeper into the hole that not even the US will be able to dig them out. This is a safe time for the US to pull out of treacherous Korea, Japan certainly cannot trust any of the Korea's.

0 ( +12 / -12 )

This is regrettable and more of political strategy than sport. 

It is sad for the athletes who have trained and qualified and now to be dropped.

Joining strangers together from two completely different hockey systems is not a good way to build a team. I thought the Olympics were supposed to about sports and the athletes, not politics. Find another gesture of reconciliation. How about AFTER the Olympics they create a joint team and play some exhibition games?

0 ( +13 / -13 )

NK is being pressured by China to tone down, but not to scale down. So this is strictly a PR move, they will quickly go back to their old ways right after the Olympics.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

It is a welcome gesture. Better to talk, shake hands and agree on one issue than to ratchet up tensions all the time.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Lunacy from Moon!

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

This is an interesting gesture, but if it were to actually lead anywhere, it would obviously come down to 'OK South Korea, in order for us to remain friends, you have to kick the US out'. Then all bets are off on how long it takes for the North to invade.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

All for peaceful talks and a lessening of tension in the region.

One does have to be skeptical however what this really means, walking under a "Korean Peninsula slightly better relationship flag" might be more accurate.

Reunification will require either South Korea and South Koreans to give up its individual freedoms, democracy and most likely its alliance with the US, or North Koreas Regime dismantled, its hard to see either happening, or happening peacefully.

I would hope for North Koreas Regime to be dismantled from those options of course, but fear China will stand in the way to stop a US ally being directly on its boarders.

Its a tricky situation, and glad things seem to be calming somewhat, lets hope NK can resist any more testing or provocative military moves for a while.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

This is beautiful. Of course, warmongers will complain about it.

2 ( +12 / -10 )

Just exactly how does a "unified" Korea look. who runs the country, the North Koreans? This all seems a little unrealistically romanticized....

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Alex80, Honest question, not having a dig.

Whats beautiful about it exactly? I get talks are good, and I sure don't want war, but isn't this almost supporting a human rights violating regime thats spent the last year or so trying to push everyones buttons?

2 ( +7 / -5 )

@Crazyjoe

Agree with you!

Should SK players that trained for months or years be dropped from the team just to please politicians and include NK players?

While a nice gesture this should not have been done just a few weeks ahead of the olympics on a political decision but on a sport point of view

I lost interest in that Olympics

7 ( +10 / -3 )

I'm sure that Trump's next tweet will take credit for this.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Typical... North Korea threatens to blow up everybody and their brother with Nuclear Weapons and what happens, a couple of weeks before the Olympics they put on a smiley face, get to play sports, and when its over they're back to threatening everyone again. Sure... we need to try, but its never worked in the past. The spoiled child is rewarded for temporary good behavior... that is not the way to treat a spoiled child. No reward until the child shows definite signs of change over a long period of time.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Just exactly how does a "unified" Korea look. who runs the country, the North Koreans? This all seems a little unrealistically romanticized....

The Germans figured it out.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Every step away from war is a good one.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

And thus begins the shakedown - again. The South will pay up once more and after a little while things will go right back to where they started. The definition of insanity.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

I Couldn't think of a better way to trigger Mr. Trigger-happy Trump. Check mate.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

The Germans figured it out.

Have they taken down the wall between the Koreas?

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

The Germans figured out the Soviet Union would collapse?

oh dear, dear....

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Typical... North Korea threatens to blow up everybody and their brother with Nuclear Weapons and what happens, a couple of weeks before the Olympics they put on a smiley face, get to play sports, and when its over they're back to threatening everyone again. Sure... we need to try, but its never worked in the past. The spoiled child is rewarded for temporary good behavior... that is not the way to treat a spoiled child. No reward until the child shows definite signs of change over a long period of time.

By that logic, the Americans should not be allowed to participate in the Olympics either.

And thus begins the shakedown - again. The South will pay up once more and after a little while things will go right back to where they started. The definition of insanity.

Any means to prevent war IS sanity. Forcing an unnecessary war is insanity.

Have they taken down the wall between the Koreas?

Did they take down the Berlin wall before the Germans figured it out?

2 ( +8 / -6 )

The Germans figured it out.

You should probably read up on the German Reunification if you think Kim will allow any of that to happen. I don't see North Korea allowing free elections any time soon.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Right...so you get to shoot missiles over or at Japan one month, and join the olympics the next?

Last I checked the Russians got the Olympic boot for doping. Good to see that shooting missiles isn’t as bad.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Strangerland, I don't believe the East Germans were building nuclear arms and threatening to nuke parts of the World before the wall came down......

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Glad to hear they are working together to improve bilateral relations. I can suspect that the Americans are fuming at all of this.

I wonder if when Moon asks Kim Jung Un if he is ready for reunification, Kim Jung Un will reply “yeah just leave the keys to the blue house, the central bank, and the strategic control center on your way out.

Because no matter what peaceful gestures anybody believes their ideology is, there is only one true Korea the Democratic People’s Republic....

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Strangerland, I don't believe the East Germans were building nuclear arms and threatening to nuke parts of the World before the wall came down......

Um, things were horrible in East Germany right up until the wall came down. If you had tried to get over that wall the day before, you would be shot in the back.

Maybe the threats were different, but lets not try to pretend East Germany was some sort of paradise before unification.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Um, things were horrible in East Germany right up until the wall came down. If you had tried to get over that wall the day before, you would be shot in the back.

Maybe the threats were different, but lets not try to pretend East Germany was some sort of paradise before unification.

Yes, they were both terrible places, although I would argue that East Germany was a vacation compared to NK. But you like to ignore the fact that the East German government was failing and allowed itself to be voted out of power. Do you really honestly believe that Kim would ever allow this to happen?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

This is beautiful. Of course, warmongers will complain about it.

Yep. The psychopathic warmongers here are all over this. They only stand to profit or pet their own egos by NK being pile-driven.

And now they bang on about 'human rights'. I thought the whole angle was always 'security'. Seems to have changed overnight...

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

The Germans figured it out.

The Germans didn't have one side with nuclear weapons and the other without, at least not directly. That adds a lot of complication. East Germany wasn't actively firing ICBMS over France either.

Totally different situation.

I hope re-unification happens, but on South Korea's terms.

I know one thing, if nuclear weapons remain under a unified Korea, the problem will not be solved. Pretty much just forces the hand of Japan even further. Not sure what China's stance would be, but it would be a democratically leaning nation state with nuclear weapons on its borders. Don't think they would be pleased about that, even if the Americans have gone.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Do you really honestly believe that Kim would ever allow this to happen?

I believe that if you had asked people if Germany could reunify, before they actually did, you would have received similar disbelief that it could ever happen. And yet, it did.

I'm not saying that it's going to be easy. Neither am I even saying it's going to be Kim, maybe he'll get taken out by his own people or something.

The point is that contrary to people's fears, these things actually can happen.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

The two Koreas uniting under the current NK leadership is a pipe dream which will never happen. KJU understands that if the borders were opened his control would swiftly fail and thus the who hierarchy. The only way this can occur without igniting a war is if it collapses internally without outside interference.

I have said for a long time the best way forward for the world would be for ALL NK’s neighbours to blanket cover the entire peninsula with free unrestricted wifi access. Smartphones (if they are not already in most homes hidden under a floorboard) will leak across the border like mercury through a sieve. Then sit back and wait. Allow the people of NK to decide what they want and let them handle it from within.

There is of course a caveat to all of this and it is an unknown as with all things and that is wether KJU and the ruling elites decide to push the self destruct button. My feeling is, and based on historical examples from the past where despotic powers have rules over brainwashed people. There are always some within the elites who are privately opposed to what is going on and may indeed be able (very secretly of course) sway more of the elites to seize control before any form of self genosid madness

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Cannot edit my original post after mistakenly hitting “Post” before finishing. So here it is finished properly. Apologies but just the last sentence is different.

The two Koreas uniting under the current NK leadership is a pipe dream which will never happen. KJU understands that if the borders were opened his control would swiftly fail and thus the who hierarchy. The only way this can occur without igniting a war is if it collapses internally without outside interference.

I have said for a long time the best way forward for the world would be for ALL NK’s neighbours to blanket cover the entire peninsula with free unrestricted wifi access. Smartphones (if they are not already in most homes hidden under a floorboard) will leak across the border like mercury through a sieve. Then sit back and wait. Allow the people of NK to decide what they want and let them handle it from within.

There is of course a caveat to all of this and it is an unknown as with all things and that is wether KJU and the ruling elites decide to push the self destruct button. My feeling is, and based on historical examples from the past where despotic powers have rules over brainwashed people. There are always some within the elites who are privately opposed to what is going on and may indeed be able (very secretly of course) sway more of the elites to seize control before any form of self genocide madness ensues.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Any attempt at de-tensioning the current situation is to be welcomed - with caution of course.

Those who truly have peace as a priority will understand the gesture. Time will tell if it's successful or not, but that's not the point at the moment.

Everyone knows the murderous fascist regime of Kim, but to not take a small step with the door slightly ajar is not a sign of weakness, but of strength and responsibility.

A simple Ping Pong visit to China in 1971 opened the door to visits by Kissinger, and then Nixon who actually met with the "Evil Demagogue" Mao. It was the start of Chinas opening after decades of isolation, during which it crushed it's people and became a nuclear power. Sound Familiar? Even though the Vietnam war was on at that time, it paved the way for considerable negotiations and final withdrawal by US & allies ending what could have been a super power nuclear event. Ping Pong!!!

History will not value arm-chair button pushers highly.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Sooner or later, Korea will be unified. Sooner is better and both countries are peacefully working.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

IOC is more peace oriented than UN.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

at least it is likely he won't be lobbing bombs at seoul while his peoples are in the olympics.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This is beautiful. Of course, warmongers will complain about it.

Not only warmongers am afraid. Naysayers & haters have something negative to say about pretty much everything & everyone these days.

No one's fooled, we all know this is 'only' a political, opportunistic act (on both sides). But what naysayers/haters forget is that only a couple of months ago some countries threatened to withdraw from the Olympics as they feared for their safety.

So yes, the 2 Koreas under one flag may just be a symbolic act it is undoubtedly a step in he right direction.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

You must admire and respect the South Koreans and their courages! The North Korean aiming huge numbers of artillery and rockets at Seoul and along the 38th parallel! And they still lean out their hands to hug their northern brothers at all cost! Wonderful!! North Korea/South Korea good brothers in arms!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Once again an event designed to avoid politics becomes incredibly political.

The fact is the worst scenario for Japan is a unified Korea. (as a country)

0 ( +4 / -4 )

This move to 'unite' for the Olympics is nothing more than a smoke screen to hide the business as usual back in NK. The arms build up will continue while everyone is looking the other way.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Nobody has stopped monitoring the DPRK's weapons programs because of this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Was that a bit strange for the US military personals staitioning in South Korea, when they were risking their lives to defend the R.O.K., while the president of South Korea is advocating the nation to embrace their northern brothers! And they are going to 'Marry' in the coming Olympic games to let the world see the dream of a nuclear armed Unified Korea maybe to be lead by Pyongyang!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Title is misleading. They're not forming one Olympic team, they're forming one combined team for ice hockey only. The players and their parents of the original SK women's ice hockey team are pissed as well. They're upset because 12 SK athletes who worked their ass off to be on the Olympic ice hockey team are getting booted from the team to make room for NK. They're not very happy with President Park forcing them off the team for a political stunt.

Not to mention they haven't practiced together at all. I don't see this combined team wining much of anything.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@StevieJ - President Park?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

An absolute farce. This juvenile stunt by NK is to buy time to increase their nuke capacity; they don't even have any qualified athletes for the Winter Olympics for christ's sake.

The fact that SK fell for this hook, line and sinker, shows they cannot be trusted and are not an ally and their fate in the coming conflict isn't too much of a concern anymore TBH.

The silver lining from this comical joke is that this point has been clarified and confirmed and now action can be taken

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Koreas: 1

Haters: 0

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Next, all commonwealth countries will go under Union Jack.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Wrong

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The fact is the worst scenario for Japan is a unified Korea. (as a country).

Why? Because Japan brutalized them and then tried to cover it up? Because Japan still fails to properly acknowledge and teach Japanese school kids the truth about Japan's past?

The scenario you describe may have been avoidable if it were not for Japan's history of bullying and invasion in the area, and Japan's shocking relations that it has intentionally maintained with both China and Korea. You make your bed and all that...

Japan knows that the only way to avoid this 'worst scenario' is to continue the aggression, and ultimately drive it to a war. Pretty much their modus operandi since ancient times (apart from the current era due to the constitution). War before diplomacy. Plenty of people will suffer, but that always seems to be beside the point when nationalism and militarism join forces.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

RecklessToday 09:41 am JST

at least it is likely he won't be lobbing bombs at seoul while his peoples are in the olympics.

I wish I had the same confidence in Trump's sanity as you have...

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

For people complaining about it only being a gesture, who cares if that is "only" what it is? It sure as hell beats the bombast, threats, and general complaints and fighting going on between most nations and NK. This is the best news in Olympics since they marched together under one flag in Sydney in 2002. I can still remember that and how amazing it was. If other countries can maybe just sit back a bit and see what happens instead of Tillerson threatening war again, and Trump ranting and raving with his senile comments on Twitter, maybe it will lead to further cooperation and steps towards reunification.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

If South and North Korea form one team and compete in the games, that will be an everlasting historic event, which I think will move our people and people around the world," South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Wednesday.

Perhaps yes. I agree with Moon historic. However, tread with caution. There may be ulterior motives at play here for the long game not the short. Look to the past and your experience when dealing with the DPRK.

I would keep this in mind below.

"Trojan Horse" has come to mean any trick or stratagem that causes a target to invite a foe into a securely protected bastion or place. Credit wiki.

This could be start of something very good. Just proceed with caution. No matter how much you get caught up in the moment of Korean pride when winning medals. Keep in mind they could roll one out on the launch bad at will. Then he we go again.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Sorry typo correction. Hit the post button a little to fast!

If South and North Korea form one team and compete in the games, that will be an everlasting historic event, which I think will move our people and people around the world," South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Wednesday.

Perhaps yes. I agree with Moon historic. However, tread with caution. There may be ulterior motives at play here for the long game not the short. Look to the past and your experience when dealing with the DPRK.

I would keep this in mind below.

"Trojan Horse" has come to mean any trick or stratagem that causes a target to invite a foe into a securely protected bastion or place. Credit wiki.

This could be start of something very good. Just proceed with caution. No matter how much you get caught up in the moment of Korean pride when winning medals. Keep in mind they could roll one out on the launch pad at will. Then here we go again.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Smith: It sure as hell beats the bombast, threats, and general complaints and fighting going on between most nations and NK.

I wouldn’t speak for those poor people slaving away in NK gulags or starving out in the country side. Propping up the regime isn’t doing a damn thing for them. The sooner NK Socialism is ended the better. The man made disaster that is North Korea is a human rights tragedy. Stringing it along by repeatedly bailing out the Kim’s is prolonging the misery.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

This is nice. Can't we all just wish them good luck?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I wouldn’t speak for those poor people slaving away in NK gulags or starving out in the country side. Propping up the regime isn’t doing a damn thing for them.

Bombing them is going to help them out?

Plenty of human rights issues in places closer to home, too...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

LOL@ all these people who are really upset at the two Koreas working together on sports.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Accomplished all without any input from the DSA (Disunited States of America)!

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Pathetic. 

And a pure political decision against all and every IOC rule. And two countries competing together, another breach of the rules. Thought sports had nothing to do with politics  ( like to use crying with laughter imoticon here).

Talking of sports, inserting 5 to 10 new players in a National Ice Hockey team whom have never played or trained together 4 weeks before the first game is a joke and any self respecting coach should resign. 

Of course I understand the need for peace and agree the Olympics are used to bring that peace if it can help but not in stupid ways. Forming a united delegation, against the rules. Fine with me. Messing up teams is a different matter and unnecessary and can only lead to conflict and trouble in the team, and that can also politically backfire. 

It would be funny though to hear the Kim fanclub singers , perform all those patriotic songs against the South, the Americans, and all the South Koreans and foreign guests biting their lips.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

If it's a unified flag, what anthem are they gonna play?

It'd be strange if South Koreans don't hear their anthem in their own Olympics

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The US are doing North Korean people starve, because of all their inhuman sanctions, just because they want to destroy the regime for their own interests. They don't care about human rights, or, for example, they wouldn't be friends with Saudi Arabia. I think in the Korean peninsula it can be possible to keep two different systems, peacefully. Something like Hong Kong and China. Simply, the US need to leave, this is obvious.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Something like Hong Kong and China.

A lot of Hong Kongers are souring on the idea - they wish they never left the British Commonwealth

Taiwanese are seeing what's happening to Hong Kong and don't want to change their own status

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What do HK and Taiwan have to do with this. 

I don't know why Taiwan worries, nobody wants that garbage heap. They should be so happy, China takes it back, it can not possible be a bigger mess than it is now

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@Haa Nemui, Sorry, I meant to put President Moon but put Park for some reason. Can't edit posts...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't know why Taiwan worries, nobody wants that garbage heap.

Then China should just let them go. Taiwanese are just happy deciding their own fate, how ever it turns out

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Does anybody truly believe that any form of independent democratic autonomous government would suddenly emerge from an amalgamation of North and South?

Freedom of speech will  instantaneously materialise?

The North will poison the South, Kim Jong Un is the supreme leader and Chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea.

This is all a shameless facade and a faithless deception, with the aid and frankly naively of the IOC, and the hapless wet liberal South Korean President Moon Jae-in . a politically perverse use of a  international sporting event.

Lucifer, Latin: lucem ferre, means "light-bearer", ultimately corrupted by his own gratification of arrogance, narcissism, and vanity, the insane belief that pride leads to power.

Kim Jong Un provides the very definition of hell on earth to his people brainwashed and blinded, starved by despotism, tyranny and terror into submissive servitude.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Do any of you watch ice hockey games to predict what country team will score better than unified team? Let stick to write about ice hockey.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The US are doing North Korean people starve, because of all their inhuman sanctions, just because they want to destroy the regime for their own interests. They don't care about human rights, or, for example, they wouldn't be friends with Saudi Arabia. I think in the Korean peninsula it can be possible to keep two different systems, peacefully. Something like Hong Kong and China. Simply, the US need to leave, this is obvious.

Oh look, another person who thinks North Korean citizens weren't already starving for decades before sanctions were put in place. News flash, North Korea is hell for its people. The sanctions are in place to hopefully hurt the military and government (the only thing Kim is concerned about), not starve the people. Kim was doing that all by himself already.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It is late for ice hockey teams of countries but they probably readjusting positions of players on icefield. The sport. Team uniform manufacturers may be busy adding unification flag to uniform.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Do any of you watch ice hockey games to predict what country team will score better than unified team?

Almost all who qualified for the Olympics - Korea is not a power in ice hockey

Most of the teams will be made up of the World Junior Ice Hockey Championship this last month because the NHL is not releasing its players for this Olympics

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_World_Junior_Ice_Hockey_Championships#Playoff_round

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If it's a unified flag, what anthem are they gonna play?

It'd be strange if South Koreans don't hear their anthem in their own Olympics

Clearly, they value their common ancestry and culture more than a song or a piece of cloth. I bet they won't even freak out if they see someone kneeling down during the playing of their anthem......unlike some people.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Do any of you watch ice hockey games to predict what country team will score better than unified team?"

Yup. This Canadian sure does, and any NK-SK team is going to suck badly. The SK coach should definitely resign in protest, if he's forced politically to accept NK players. I know any other self-respecting hockey coach would do just that.

This whole NK-SK huggy-feely thing is a scam.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I deeply pleased by this move. I strongly advocate and advice about the reunion of both corea in my country diplomacy as a long term hope for asia to end this nuclear conflict. We can't keep a people cut in two part. They need each other and we can't have a north corea so military. It is too dangerous in the world of tomorrow.

Olympic is truly a good start. And since I am french, this french meeting place please me even more.

This is a fresh start and we have to thank D.Trump for having put is foot down on that one. Too many people forget North Corea is Earth worse and first dictature. It is time to work for the end of this open sky prison and think about other system than revolution or military dictature.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Who cares if it is "only a gesture"? It is a step in the right direction..

I am actually surprised NK agreed to do it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites