A noteworthy addition to this year’s Winter Olympic Games will be 22 North Korean athletes, who will be attending the competition running from 9th February through to 25th February.

These North Korean competitors will be taking part across 5 sports. This is the first time since 2010 that this many North Korean contestants have been allowed; previously, only 2 were granted permission. They will be joining 92 countries in Pyeongchang, South Korea, a controversial decision considering their history. Some see this as a first step towards peace which appears conceivable, particularly considering that North and South Korea will be entering the opening ceremony united under a single flag. In addition to this, a women’s ice hockey team has been established which consists of professionals of both nationalities, another amicable gesture. An ex-Olympian, Gareth Walters, commented on how: “It’s really pleasing to see how the Olympic ideal can be used to bring two countries together, and hopefully lead to peace.” Despite this seemingly good nature, North Korea pulled out of a joint event just 3 days ago. The reason behind this is due to the North feeling under attack from a southern news outlet.

This provokes the question as to how civil the two nations are, and how sustainable this new development is.

by Charlotte Lambert

St George's Weybridge