North Korea competing in the Winter Olympics


photo used with permission by Wikimedia Commons

Representatives from North Korea approach the 2016 Olympics.

Lauren Girgis, Editor-in-chief

    North Korea’s participation in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics should set off security concerns, as the country may hold ulterior motives beyond extending a friendly hand in sports showmanship to their southern neighbors.

    On Jan. 9, North and South Korean delegates met at the border for a bitter discussion of how to incorporate North Korean athletes into the Olympics. Despite years of heightening tension as North Korea threatens neighboring countries with aimed and armed missiles, South Korean delegates confirmed they would be sending athletes to PyeongChang.

    By sending North Korean athletes, coaches and reporters to South Korea, the looming threat of a nuclear attack will be present at a vital, internationally-viewed event. Anyone who does not view North Korea’s participation as a potential threat is fooling themselves. Whether North Korea intends to bomb the Olympics, killing their athletes, the possibilities are endless.

    Even if North Korea has no intentions of outward violence, competing in the Olympics could be an effort to show off their prowess, and declare themselves better than the rest of the world. While the leaders of North Korea and the United States act like fools over Twitter, the competition between the athletes will be highly contended and tense.

    North Korea has used domestic propaganda within their homeland to show off as the best and brightest, and their competing in the Olympics is sure to be no different. The ideological purpose of winning the Olympics is amplified by North Korean leaders, and the athletes are paraded in weeks following as national heroes.

    If North Korea were trying to reconcile with South Korea, this could be seen as an attempt to distance the South from their American allies, and perhaps an attempt to drive the United States out of the Koreas altogether. Given, this attempt will not be directly caused by the Olympics, but the event could be a stepping stone towards affecting South Korean-American relations.

     North Korea could also be attempting to appeal to the sympathies of South Koreans, as they watch athletes and coaches from their neighboring country win medals. This could cause political unrest as those South Koreans begin to admire the North, for those who were metaphorically teetering on the border.

    Whether North Korean athletes perform well in the Olympics or not, it is important to remember their deranged leader and recognize their propaganda.