South Korea Is Considering Covering The Costs Of North Korea’s Olympic Participation


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Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter
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  • South Korea has proposed paying for North Korea’s participation in the Winter Olympics
  • A meeting Wednesday will address whether South Korea will cover North Korea’s $2.7 million estimated expenses
  • Many South Koreans are upset that North Korea is upstaging the host country

South Korea is considering footing the bill for North Korea’s participation in the Winter Olympics.

North Korea dispatched a massive delegation consisting of a handful of athletes and hundreds of cheerleaders and cultural performers to South Korea for the Olympics, indicating that the focus was on selling North Korean propaganda. The cost of hosting North Korea is an estimated $2.7 million, and South Korea is looking at covering the those costs.

The South and North Exchange and Cooperation Promotion Council will meet Wednesday, according to Yonhap News Agency, to discuss using South Korean government funds to bankroll North Korea’s participation. The funds were set aside for inter-Korean cooperation.

While the South Korean government is optimistic and enthusiastic about North Korea’s participation in the Olympics, other observers are suspicious of Pyongyang’s intentions. There are serious concerns that North Korea is trying to drive a wedge between South Korea and the U.S., as well as steal the spotlight and present itself as a normal nuclear state rather than an aggressive state led by a murderous regime.

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North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un “expressed thanks” for the warm welcome provided by South Korea to his delegation of senior officials, which included his little sister Kim Yo Jong, who fascinated South Korean and Western journalists alike, despite her leading role in a brutal regime.

Many South Koreans reportedly feel that North Korea is upstaging the host country at the Olympics.

“All I see are North Koreans, Kim Jong-un, and Kim Yo-jong (when I turn on my TV),” a South Korean woman involved in the media industry in Seoul told the Korea Herald recently.

Conservative South Koreans have been critically calling the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics the Pyongyang Olympics to highlight the liberal South Korean government led by President Moon Jae-in’s perceived kowtowing to North Korea. The hermit kingdom appear to be using its idealistic vision of a unified and peaceful Korea to advance its own, possibly malicious, national interests.

Moon’s decision to have athletes march together under a unified Korean flag and compete as part of a unified Olympic team was met with significant backlash, which resulted in a noticeable drop in the president’s approval rating.

At least Moon has Kim Jong Un’s gratitude.

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