North and South Korea marched together on Feb. 9 at the opening ceremony and united together as one team for the 2018 Winter Olympics.
The women’s hockey team is composed of North and South Korean athletes and is considered the first in Winter Olympic history to have both Koreas work as a joint team.
Ten other athletes from North Korea will be participating in four other winter sports. Three alpine skiers, three cross-country skiers, two short-track speed skaters, and a duo in figure skating.
Although this is a very remarkable moment, it is not the first time North and South Korea marched together.
According to The New York Times, the first was in Sydney, Australia in 2000, then in Athens, Greece 2004, and finally in Torino, Italy 2006.
Even so, the unification of the two countries at the 2018 Winter Olympics is still very significant and the first step towards possible peace and hopefully the end of the hostile tensions between North and South Korea.
The New York Times has reported that the extreme tension between North and South Korea exists due to North Korea’s horrific actions when South Korea hosted the Summer Olympics in the capital of Seoul. North Korea blew up a South Korean airline, 10 months before the games, killing everyone on board.
They have also reported that South Korea pulled away from North Korea economically, politically, and culturally after the Seoul Olympics.
This is the first time South Korea has hosted the Olympics since the attack in 1988 which is what makes the unity of North and South Korea even more significant. It held a lot of meaning and importance to South Korea and many speculators.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the image of a dove lit up in the sky and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said it symbolized the peace that shows at the Winter Olympics.
Many even consider it as the “Peace Olympics” since it will be the only time political leaders from the United States, North Korea, and South Korea will be together for a special event.
South Korea was involved in the conflict between the two countries when it was announced that they would host the Olympics.
Although the PyeongChang Winter Olympics can’t bring them back together officially, it is a huge milestone towards that direction.