Both Koreas, under one joint Olympic flag while regional disputes still pending

The PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games that launched yesterday meant an actual milestone in modern history, not only in terms of technology and relevance for the Asian country worldwide, but also and even more important, in terms of good will.

Both Koreas marching under a joint flag, but military parade at DPRK just in the eve

An unified Korean Olympic Team not only marched, but also will compete under an union flag specially designed for the Winter Olympics.

The delegation was led into the Olympic Stadium by the Korean Unification Flag, carried by two athletes, one from each National Olympic Commitee (NOC).

There was one female and one male athlete flagbearer. Chung GumHwang and Yungjong Won are their names. The first athlete competes in Ice Hockey, the second one in Bobsleigh.

Mike Pence (below on the right) keeps on sitting while the Korea joint Olympic teams march under a joint flag at the launch ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games 2018. Just above Kim Yo-jung, sister of Kim Jong-un (President of DPRK) applauds, as well as Moon Jae-in (President of ROK ), his whife and other delegates. This is a detail of an image published for press use by the ROK Government on Flikr.

The delegation wore at the opening ceremony a special uniform with the Korean Unification flag on it. The acronym for the joint team is “COR”and the joint team marched under their historical country name, Korea,leaving aside, this way, any refference to political matters such as DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) or ROK (Republic of Korea).

The “Olympic Korean Peninsula Declaration” inked by all parties interested on it on 20th January 2018 also allows a joint team for the two Koreas that is competing in Figure Skating, Short Track Speed Skating, Cross Country Skiing and Alpine Skiing. There’s also a Unified Women’s Hockey Team for the firt time ever. The teams compete under the name Korea and the anthem “Arirang”.

Thomas Bach (President IOC)said on this historic milestone for a new future in the peninsula of Korea: “The Olympic Games are always about building bridges. They never erect walls. The Olympic spirit is about respect, dialogue and understanding.

“The Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 are hopefully opening the door to a brighter future on the Korean peninsula, and inviting the world to join in a celebration of hope.

Image over the headline.- ROK and DPRK flagbearers carry the joint Korea Olympic flag before the joint Korean Olympic team at the inauguration ceremony of 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChan. IOC press photo/Getty Images.

“The Olympic athletes can show us the way. They show us how to compete peacefully. They show us how, despite all our differences, it is possible for humankind to live together in peace, respect and harmony. In this way, the Olympic Games show us what the world could look like, if we were all guided by the Olympic spirit of respect and understanding. This is the Olympic message that will go from PyeongChang to the world.”

“Bitter-sweet” dessert offered at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games
VIP Reception on February 9th, 2018 inYongpyong Resort, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do. This is a detail of an image published for press use by the ROK Government on Flikr.

Great hopes, that may well bump against North Korea’s Government military approach.
Just on Thursday Kim Jong-un presided over a not so peaceful great military parade where they were displayed some new missiles never seen before. The missiles ressemble the Russian Iskander-M.

Caption of the video published by the State TV of the DPRK (KCTV) on the Military Parade in DPRK marking the 70th Founding Anniversary of KPA on 8th February 2018. Find below a link to the video published on You Tube.

Fighting under a peace flag at the Olympics, Kim Jong un’s sister, Kim Yo-jong, attending to the Olympics at PyeongChang and inviting the President of ROK to visit the DPRK, while North Korea showcases their military power at home before the world. Which is the actual message sent by DPRK to South Korea, Japan the US and the rest of the world?.

North Korea’s nuclear bombings and Senkaku islands issue still there

ROK President Moon Jae-in held summit meetings with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte in Yongpyeong, Gangwon-do Province before the two Koreas joint Olympic march at the launch ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang.

Moon urged Japan to face its history while continuing future-forward cooperation. He also proposed Abe that they restore “shuttle diplomacy” and close communication between the heads of the state of both Asian countries.

About the North Korean issues, President Moon underlined that, “On the occasion of the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games, we are working hard to pave a path toward resolving the North Korean nuclear weapons issue, settling permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.”

Shinzo Abe (Prime Minister of Japan) -left-, Moon Jae-in (President of ROK) -center- and Mike Pence (Vice President of the USA) -on the right-. This is a detail of an image published for press use by the ROK Government on Flikr.

ROK President added that, “Through the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, Seoul is expecting a peace Olympics that can lead Pyongyang to the dialogue table and to resolve the North Korean nuclear weapons issue, as well.”

Prime Minister of The Netherlands, Mark Rutte, assured that, “As a non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council and the chair country of the U.N. Security Council, the Netherlands will not spare any support or sanctions and will help the Korean government provide as much support as possible.”

Kim Jong-un’s younger sister, Kim Yo-jung officially invites Moon Jae-in (ROK President ) to DPRK for talks in the name of her brother. Photo published by the Government of ROK on it official channel on Facebook. Find the original post here

Anyway, the oppinion of The USA is something that the President of the ROK will surely take into account as the US currently is the most important ally for the country at the time to face  its asian counterparts (not  only the DPRK, but also China and Japan).

Three consecutive Olympics in Asia, a first for the IOC

They did it!. From the PyeongChang Winter and Paralympic Games being held in ROK this year, The Olympic Games (Summer edition) will head to Tokyo in 2020 and then go to Beijing in 2022. It’s time for competition among the Asian main powers.

This is the first time that the IOC (International Olympic Commitee) awards the organisation of three consecutive Games in the same region.

Regarded as a chance for development and uprise in the International influence landscape, ROK and China are eager to show the world all what they have reached after years of great efforts.

In the case of Japan the Olympics may well mean a way to restore their image and infrastructures after for example World War II or Fukushima nuclear dissaster. Even organising the Olympic Games may well serve as a marketing weapon to invigorate Japan’s country brand and therefore exports and tourism for an economy tending to stanflation if the Government does not follow it carefully.

Heavy spend and new infrastructures come hand in hand with the organisation of the Games in Asian cities and their citizens support them with joy.

Out of the Olympic bidding, Kim Jong-un keeps on organising military parades as he could win a weapons run medal.

A dove of peace at the launch ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games 2018. This is a detail of an image published for press use by the ROK Government on Flikr.

Nothing to do with the current approach to the Olympics in Western countries, where low cost and low environmental impact are underlined when bidding to organise the Games.

Citizens of Western democracies seem to be no more interested in funding expensive infrastructures for this kind of event with their tax contributions. As they don’t appreciate any direct benefits from the Olympics to their everyday lives, a growing share of Western populations question any heavy spend to organise the Games.

Perhaps the Olympics in the minds of Western populations are turning into just a matter of tradition, while Asian countries still consider the Games as a way to fight for their relevance in the International landscape. Saometing that they still don’t dare to take for granted against what happens, for example, in the USA.

Image over the headline.- ROK and DPRK flagbearers carry the joint Korea Olympic flag before the joint Korean Olympic team at the inauguration ceremony of 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChan. IOC press photo/Getty Images.

Related external links:

Olympic Korean Peninsula Declaration

KCTV.- Military Parade in DPRK Marks 70th Founding Anniversary of KPA on 8th February 2018

Related Eastwind links:

To watch some images of the inauguration ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games PyeongChang 2018 clcik here

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