As it became known, the athletes from the DPRK will not go to the 2018 Olympics in South Korea. The only people who qualified and had the right to participate in the Games from the DPRK were 25-year-old figure-skater Kim Ju-sik with his skating partner 18-year-old Ryom Tae-ok. However, they refused to submit an application for participation to the International Olympic Committee.
Meanwhile, South Korea has showed deep interest in the participation of the DPRK athletes in the 2018 Winter Olympics. Despite the difficult political relations, the official Seoul, including Mr. Moon Jae-in, the President of South Korea, and Mr. Kang Kyung-wha, the South Korea’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, have repeatedly stated that they will be happy to see a delegation from the DPRK, both athletes and fans.
So, what is the reason for such a categorical refusal to participate in the Games?
We have already seen Pyongyang trying to show its nuclear potential to the rest of the world, and it seems that another opportunity for provocative actions was found. Such assumption was voiced by high-ranking officials of South Korea. Thus, the Minister for the Unification of the country Mr.Cho Myung-gyon admited that if North Korea continues its provocative activity when the Olympic Games start, then it will give a deadly blow to the security and safety of the people on the peninsula.
In addition, the Minister expressed deep concerns over the fact that the holding of the Olympics may coincide with the U.S.-South Korea annual military exercises, against which Pyongyang resolutely opposes.
These exercises will make it possible to deliberately overshadow the atmosphere of celebration, as well as create prerequisites for carrying out numerous provocations by North Korean side. In this case, numerous casualties among fans or participants cannot be avoided, and after the withdrawing of North Korean athletes the chances of different “incidents” are much higher now.
On the contrary, the government of South Korea wants to turn the Games in Pyongyang into an event that meets the true spirit of the Olympics and contributes to the strengthening of peace and friendship in the world, however leaders on the opposite side have other plans to deal with the situation.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.