IOC Welcomes North Korea Competing At Olympics

Donald Trump Steny Hoyer Kevin McCarthy

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said in his New Year's Day address that he was willing to send a delegation to the Olympics.

Ryom and Kim have little hope of winning a medal at the Olympics.

Much has been made of North Korea's sudden willingness to talk to South Korea.

On North Korea's Olympics participation, Seoul suggested the two countries' delegations walk side-by-side during the opening ceremony on February 9 and form a combined cheering squad, adding South Korea hoped the North Korean delegation be "as large as possible". This is neither surprising, nor unprecedented.

On their world championship debut previous year in Finland, Ryom and Kim put in two spirited skates to enthusiastic applause from the crowd as they finished 15th, above one of the two US pairs and a string of more experienced European competitors.

However, the International Olympic Committee, which was in favour of Tuesday's talks, has signalled that they would still be allowed to participate.

During the lead-up to the Olympics, Moon successfully lobbied Washington to postpone the USA and South Korea's annual joint military drills that routinely outrage North Korea. But their presence at the games is a positive development after a year of escalating tensions, as Pyongyang has rapidly expanded its nuclear and missile capabilities. Kim sees the North's nuclear program as his greatest accomplishment and the source of his greatest leverage when entering negotiations. Thus, while these talks may temporarily reduce tensions on the peninsula, they do not herald any meaningful change of the status quo.

That year, North Korea issued a boycott and killed 115 people when it blew up a South Korean passenger plane in the lead-up to the games. Specifically, the North will have used token gestures of reconciliation to co-opt the Moon administration into helping his regime ease the burden of worldwide sanctions. Other reports said the South offered to hold military talks to ease border tensions.

In 2015, negotiators met for almost 40 hours before announcing a deal to pull back from a military standoff caused by land mine blasts that maimed two South Korean soldiers.

This will place Moon at odds with the Trump administration.


President Donald Trump is reportedly considering launching a "bloody nose" attack to batter and humiliate North Korea.

Whether Tuesday's talks lead to anything beyond the skaters' participation in the Olympics is up to the North Korean leader.

"With regard to this matter, the authorities of the north and the south may meet together soon", Kim said.

"It is very deplorable to see the USA politicians boasting of their diplomatic failure as 'diplomatic success, '" it said. "South Korean alliances, which is South Korea", he said.

One official said the North-South talks were likely to follow the pattern of past diplomatic efforts, in which the North has benefited from additional food and other aid without making any concessions on the weapons front.

And Seoul called for subsequent military talks, and emphasized the need to negotiate a denuclearization deal to achieve peace on the Korean Peninsula. "It could be a resulting work of the US -led sanctions and pressure".

That money and time were essential to North Korea's current missile and nuclear weapons programs, said Mosher.

This cycle of engagement and provocation has played out over and over again for years.

With nowhere left to turn, and sanctions now taking a fiercer hold on the North Korean economy, Kim Jong Un's communist regime is staring at a credible threat from a new American administration that has put military force back on the table.

Moon, an early proponent of the "sunshine policy" of engagement, has repeatedly expressed hope that the Olympics could provide a nonpolitical route to better relations with the North.

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