South Korea faces backlash over North’s Olympic entry
South Korea’s government is facing a public backlash over its efforts to bring North Korea to next month’s Winter Olympic Games, with both younger and older generations aggrieved at Pyongyang’s participation
Presented by Bryan Harris. Edited by Paolo Pascual. Footage from Reuters.
South Korea's government is facing a backlash over its efforts to bring North Korea to next month's Winter Olympic Games. After a year of drama on the peninsula, the two Koreas have sought to reduce tensions and last week agreed to compete at the Games under a "unification flag." They will also field a joint women's ice hockey team.
South Korean president Moon Jae-in hopes the moves will lay a foundation for peace in the region. But the public does not appear to share his sunny sentiment. Much of the discontent stems from the fact that the North's participation in the joint ice hockey team will come at the expense of South Korean players, who have been training for the tournament for years.
There is also unease about competing on a unified flag, which is meaningless to South Koreans. A recent poll found that 80% of respondents in their 20s and 30s were unhappy about a unified team, But older citizens are also dissatisfied with what they see as Seoul's capitulation to the North. They have taken to calling the Pyeongchang Olympics the Pyongyang Olympics, in reference to the North Korean capital city. On Monday, they burnt North Korean flags and posters of the country's leader, Kim Jong Un-- Byran Harris, Financial Times, Seoul.