North Korea and South Korea have been at war since the 1950s.
Even though the two countries are each others’ biggest enemies on the battlefield, on the playing field Olympians representing the two countries realize that they have much more in common than they ever imagined.
Putting aside their differences, 17-year-old Lee Eun-Ju of South Korea and 27-year-old Hong Un Jong of North Korea were spotted taking a selfie together at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
North Korea's Hong Un-jong and South Korea's Lee Eun-ju. I love the Olympics. pic.twitter.com/10vvR23AQj— Bryan Armen Graham (@BryanAGraham) August 7, 2016
The picture has gained immense attention online as people said it captured the true spirit of the Olympics.
"This is why we do the Olympics," tweeted Ian Bremmer, a political scientist. His tweet was retweeted more than 19,000 times.
Gymnasts from North & South Korea take a selfie together. This is why we do the Olympics. pic.twitter.com/Id44OuehN3— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) August 5, 2016
Here’s what others had to say about the iconic photo.
Isn't this the kind of relationship North Korea and South Korea should have? Much admiration for these athletes😊 pic.twitter.com/0kSBPhsks1— Michelle Baik (@michellebaik) August 8, 2016
The 2016 Olympics are the first Lee is competing in. North Korean Hong is more of a veteran, and is the first gymnast from her country to win a medal in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. She took home a gold medal for vault that year.
The friendly selfie between the two Koreas is in sheer contrast with what is happening between other enemy countries.
On the way to the opening ceremony, the Lebanese team refused to ride the bus with their Israeli counterparts. Also, Serbian athletes have been instructed by their authorities to not appear on any of the medal stands with their Kosovar competitors.