North and South Korea March Under One Flag at Opening Ceremony

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In an unprecedented move, North and South Korea have announced that their Olympic teams will march together under one unified flag during the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Olympics on Friday, February 9. PyeongChang 2018 will be South Korea’s second Olympic games and first Winter Games, as Seoul hosted the 1988 Summer Games. The unified flag, which depicts a light blue silhouette of Korea on a white background, has been used before, first at the 1991 World Table Tennis Championships in Japan and most recently at the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, Italy.

The South Korean Unification Ministry has also announced other diplomatic activities that will take place between the two countries for the games: the Koreas will combine their women’s ice hockey teams to compete, South Korean skiers will train at a North Korean resort, and the two countries will hold a joint cultural event at Mount Kumgang in North Korea.

Many South Koreans, however, are unhappy with President Moon Jae-in’s decisions regarding the games. On Monday, January 22nd, protesters gathered at Seoul Station to meet a North Korean delegation’s arrival. Demonstrators set fire to a portrait of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and a North Korean flag.

President Moon Jae-in’s approval rating has also fallen to its second lowest of his presidency, and in a recent poll, 73 percent of South Koreans indicated that they disagreed with combining the two ice hockey teams.

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North and South Korea March Under One Flag at Opening Ceremony