North and South Korea Talk of Peace and the Winter Olympics

Nicholas Lyle, Reporter

North and South Korea have a long history of conflict and disagreement between each other. Korea first divided after World War II when the country split between pro-communist northerners backed by Russia and pro-democracy southerners backed by the U.S.. Disputes about the terms of Korean independence and lack of communication led to the Korean War in 1950. It ended in stalemate, and neither side signed any formal peace treaty. This tension is still ongoing today but may be lessening as talks of North Korea entering the 2018 Winter Olympics for the first time since 2010.

Last week, representatives from North and South Korea met to discuss the possible entry of North Korea into the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea this year. After a week of discussion, North Korea has been admitted. North Korea had missed the deadline for entries, so the Olympic Committee has had to be flexible in their rules to allow North Korea to compete. They have two athletes that qualified for the games, Tae Ok Ryom and Ju Sik Kim, both figure skaters.  

Among the talks of North Korea in the Olympics, many believe that this is the turning point in North and South Korean relations, for the better. Junior Gustavo Miranda stated, “I think their cooperation is a step closer to the peaceful unification of Korea. Others remain suspicious. Junior Jonathan Diaz stated, “I don’t think North Korea entering the Olympics will keep the peace. There will definitely still be conflict between the two.”   

Both North and South Korea have increased their communications and have begun to cooperate with each other again. These increased connections are a welcome change from the tense threats of nuclear war between the two. If the Koreas continue to cooperate with each other, peace may finally be found on the Korean peninsula.