The Olympic Games are frequently characterized as an event that promotes peace and brings the world together with the love of sports.
The 2018 Winter Games kicked off on Friday with athletes from North and South Korea doing just that — the two countries’ hockey teams entered the stadium in the South Korean city Pyeongchang dressed in white and marching together under the Korean unification flag, which features the image of a unified peninsula in blue.
Some athletes from the two nations have also shared selfies posing together. The unified Korea team shared a photo on Friday showing players from both Koreas smiling at the camera.
Days before the games officially began, 22-year-old South Korean figure skater Kam Alex Kang-chan shared a selfie on Instagram of himself with 25-year-old Kim Ju Sik of North Korea.
“With my bro from up north woo hoo let's go,” read the caption.
Kam approached Kim in the locker room that both of their teams were sharing before a training session and proposed that they take a photo.
“I said something like ‘Hey, Ju Sik hyeong, let’s take a photo together,” Kam later said about the picture. “I posted that photo for fun ... and to mark the Olympics.”
The Korean word “hyeong” is used to refer to an older brother or friend.
This isn’t the first time this has happened with athletes from the two countries. In a training session for the 2016 Summer Games, 17-year-old Lee Eun-Ju, a gymnast of South Korea, was photographed taking a selfie with 27-year-old Hong Un Jong of North Korea.
The South Korean government’s decision to allow North Korean teams to compete at this year’s games has been seen as a major diplomatic move aimed at easing tensions. Although it won’t completely heal the divide, it will hopefully be the first in many attempts to work through the animosity with diplomacy rather than with threats of nuclear attacks.
With President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un constantly vowing to basically launch World War III, any signs of progress and sanity involving the North Korean government is a relief.
Banner/Thumbnail Credit: Reuters