The story behind North Korea’s Olympic participation
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The story behind North Korea’s Olympic participation

North Korean athletes at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Photo: AFP.

In his New Year’s speech, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un mentioned the possibility of sending North Korean athletes to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics in the South Korean city of Pyeongchang.

North Korea has participated in the Winter Olympics since 1964 and the Summer Olympics since 1972. They have won 56 medals, 16 of which were gold, most in wrestling,

In North Korea, most sporting events are reported in slow real time, to prevent the results from being unfavorable to Pyongyang.

The two teams were inconclusive in the main period, but Korea eventually won 1-0 in extra time.

`They never mentioned the results,` said BBC North Korea analyst Alistair Coleman.

Outstanding athletes are treated very well in North Korea.

Fyodor Tertitskiy, an analyst at NK News, said: `In recent decades, failed athletes were only blamed. Pyongyang understood that if they sent athletes to concentration camps, they would

The story behind North Korea's Olympic participation

North Korean athlete Jong Un-sang (left) takes a photo with South Korean athlete Lee Eun-ju.

At the 2016 Rio Olympics, North Korean gymnast Hong Un-jong took a selfie with South Korean competitor Lee Eun-ju.

`Therefore, as far as I know, even if athletes fail miserably, they will not be expelled from the party, but will have to self-criticize during the meeting.

No North Korean athlete has ever defected while going abroad to attend the Olympics.

Bombing and boycott

North Korea responded to the Soviet Union in boycotting the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, after the United States led the boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics to protest the Soviet Union’s military intervention in Afghanistan.

In 1988, the Olympics were held in Seoul and this made Pyongyang very angry.

To sabotage South Korea, North Korean agents bombed a Korean Airlines plane in 1987, killing 115 people.

Ice break

If North Korea participates in the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, its hopes will rest on two figure skaters Kim Ju-sik, 25 years old, and Ryom Tae-ok, 18 years old.

The story behind North Korea's Olympic participation

Two North Korean athletes can attend the Olympics in South Korea.

The Canadian coach described them as `diamonds in the rough` when he first met him.

North Korea’s participation would be a diplomatic icebreaker for the two countries still at war.

For South Korea, North Korea’s participation is an opportunity to ensure that the Olympics can proceed smoothly without any disruptive action from Pyongyang.

Mr. Kim’s proposal is also seen as an attempt to create a rift between Seoul and Washington when the US is trying to force Pyongyang to end its missile program with a maximum pressure campaign.

`Soldiers are risking their lives to flee to South Korea. ‘Rocket man’ now wants to talk to South Korea for the first time,` US President Trump wrote on Twitter.

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