A Divided Peninsula and the Winter Olympics

The Story:

The XXIII Olympic Winter Games are underway in the Republic of Korea (South Korea) against the backdrop of heightened tensions between the host country and the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (North Korea); and global sanctions against the North over its missile tests and nuclear program.

The Particulars:

In early December 2017, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said that it was an “open question” whether the U.S. would participate, given the state of tension and concerns for the safety of American participants. But the U.S. has participated, with Vice President Pence at the opening ceremonies.

At the opening ceremony, on February 9, the athletes from North and South Korea entered the stadium together under a ‘Korean Unification’ flag. The two countries also fielded one combined team, in women’s hockey.

The Thing to Know:

Peace-loving sentiments notwithstanding, that unified Korean hockey team was not a success. It was eliminated early on after a lopsided loss to Japan.

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