North Korea Considering to Send Delegation to Winter Olympics in South Korea

Photo by Vietnam Mobiography/Flickr

North Korea is considering whether it will take part in the upcoming Winter Olympics that is set to be held South Korea after Kim Jong-un, the North Korean Leader, agreed to send a delegation to the Olympic Games.

In a move that could possibly help ease the tensions between the two countries, the North Korean President said that the event, which is scheduled to be held in February of this year, “will be a good occasion for the country.”

Talking during a televised address on New Year’s Day, Kim said: “We sincerely hope that the Winter Olympics will be a success.

“We have readiness to take various steps, including the dispatch of the delegation.”

He added that North Korea would hold discussions with its southern neighbour regarding its participation in the games.

There are some speculations that Kim, himself, could possibly travel to South Korea for the opening ceremony that is scheduled to be held on the 9th of February.

The leader of North Korea is a keen skier, having learnt the sport during his time at school in Switzerland. Kim’s love for the sport influenced him to build the Masikryong ski resort that is located in the south-east of his country.

The games will occur in PyeongChang in South Korea which is less than 40 miles from the border with North Korea. So far, only two athletes from North Korea have qualified for the Olympics: Ryom Tae-Ok and Kim Ju-Sik, the ice skating duo.

Kim also utilised his address to reignite his war of words with Donald Trump, the President of the United States saying: “The entire United States is within range of our nuclear weapons, and a nuclear button is always on my desk.”

Read more: North Korea’s Kim Jong-un: Nuclear Button is Always on my Desk

He asked South Korea to postpone its planned military training exercise with the United States. Moon Jae-in, the South’s president, has previously suggested that the manoeuvres could be stopped in an effort to ease the tensions with North Korea and urge it not to try to meddle with the PyeongChang games.

However, the Defence Secretary of the United States, James Mattis, said that there were no plans to cancel the said drills.

Sports has previously been utilised to try to ease the tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

During the Sydney Olympics in 2000, representatives of the South and the North and marched together during the opening ceremony of the games behind a banner that simply said  “Korea.”