North Korea in the Olympics: Good or Bad?

I understand that the participation of North Korean Olympians on South Korea’s soil is a powerful symbol of hope. It could create some inroads to better relations between the two countries and ease tensions around the world. However, inviting the most evil, irrational government on the planet to meld with sane and honorable nations without any repentance or concessions is an abrogation of global responsibility and accountability.

I love the Olympics and have always enjoyed the camaraderie of the teams and the goodwill emanating from the event. I’m awed by the unmatched pageantry. It is impossible to keep the event completely apolitical, but the Olympic Committee usually manages to preclude national conflicts from spilling too excessively into this sacred event. But, for this Winter Olympics, I’m afraid North Korea may have pulled off the biggest diplomatic snow job in the history of the games.

Although most of the world is appalled and perturbed at Kim Jong Un and his rogue nation, they are looking frantically for a solution short of war. When this regime announced its entry into the Olympics, many other nations, including South Korea, took the bait hook, line, and sinker, as a long-shot hope for reconciliation. Of course, the news media also played into Kim’s hands. Talk of unification of the Koreas began cropping up. Kim’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, an official part of the oppressive regime, is being treated like a rock star and labeled the Ivanka Trump of North Korea. South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in is glad-handing the North Korean “dignitaries” as honored guests.

So here we have ruthless dictator Kim Jong Un oppressing and starving his people, guilty of countless murders including his own half brother, and pouring his failing economy into nuclear weapons with blatant threats to America and other countries. Yet, instead of chastising him, much of the world is making him and his delegation the heroes of the winter competition. The media is doing everything possible to make merciless North Korea look like a normal state that we should learn to love or at least have sympathy for. If PyeongChang has to be a stage for world discord, the world should be highlighting the atrocities and recklessness of North Korea rather than making them out to be misunderstood peace seekers. The price of peace should have been required as their entry fee.

Kim Jong Un acts like a spoiled four-year-old most of the time, but can be a genius at times. Participating in the Olympics was a rare genius moment. In this gesture to the world, He has driven a wedge between South Korea and its allies, America, Japan, and others. His hiatus of missile test launches and other provocations during the games is an obvious move to make him appear diplomatic. The media should be punishing him with truth in reporting.

If the unification moment does result in a cooling of tensions, peace talks, and progress toward the denuclearization of North Korea, I will be the first to admit I was wrong. But, I fully expect continuation of the North’s nuclear weapons development, resumption of test launches, and deadly oppression of the people by this time next month. A longer lasting result of the ruse, unfortunately, will be a bolstering of the charade that North Korea would be a likable little country if other nations would just be nice to them.



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