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Commentary: The misplaced Olympic alternative to bridge Korea’s North and South divide

BOSTON: The presidency of South Korea’s Moon Jae-in can be bookended by the Winter Olympics – one outlined by hope, the opposite despair.

North Korea has confirmed it is not going to take part within the Beijing Winter Olympics due to the coronavirus and what it calls the “hostile insurance policies” of america.

The choice kills any hopes left that Moon might revive a dialogue with the North in Beijing after he refused to hitch a US-led diplomatic boycott of the video games – and marks a shocking distinction with the fortunes skilled in 2018 when South Korea hosted the winter video games in PyeongChang, which turned a platform for Moon to launch his détente with the North.

It’s exceptional how far Moon has gone however how little he has achieved within the span of 4 years. For positive, it was not all Moon’s fault. He did all he might below extreme constraints posed by the enduring US-North Korea distrust, rising US-China tensions, and a once-in-a-century pandemic.

Nonetheless, like his two pro-engagement predecessors Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun, Moon can not change the 70-year-old peninsula establishment together with his proactive and fascinating North Korea insurance policies.


The PyeongChang Olympics was an event of peace and hope for the way forward for the Korean peninsula after a 12 months of “hearth and fury.” It additionally marked the start of many firsts in inter-Korean affairs.

For the primary time, Kim Yo-jong, a member of North Korea’s ruling household, set foot on the South and sat near the then US Vice President Mike Pence on the Olympics opening ceremony.

She formally invited Moon to go to North Korea, and just a bit greater than two months later in April, Moon and North Korea’s chairman Kim Jong-un had their first summit in Panmunjom and Kim turned the primary supreme chief to go to the Southern facet of the navy demarcation line.

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