Filmed by Buesong Kang. Edited by Tom Griggs. Additional footage by Reuters
It might be minus 12 degrees Celsius here in Seoul, but Olympic fever is beginning to take hold in South Korea. The athletes have started to arrive, the opening ceremony takes place on Friday, and everything looks on track for a successful, if frosty, event. Perhaps most importantly for visitors, however, the games look set to be peaceful. Under the guidance of South Korean president Moon Jae-in, Seoul has engineered a period of detente with its belligerent neighbour to the north. Pyongyang is sending a handful of athletes to compete at the competition, as well as a troupe of cheerleaders and musicians.
Mr. Moon hopes that participation can pave the way for peace on the Korean peninsula. However, not everyone shares his enthusiasm about the so-called Peace Olympics. Many young South Koreans are aggrieved over the government's decision to form a joint women's ice hockey team of players from both Koreas. Mr. Moon's overtures to the north have also met with scepticism from the United States. The US is maintaining its maximum pressure strategy on the north to try and force it to abandon its advanced weapons programmes. Mr. Moon has gambled that the lure of sporting recognition will entice North Korea to the negotiating table. But sceptics, wary of having had their fingers burned in the past, fear that once the North Korean athletes and their supporters have had their time in the spotlight, hostile relations will return. Bryan Harris, Financial Times, Seoul.