North Korea remains the most isolated country on Earth, but South Korean President Moon Jae-in is trying his best to change that. For months, President Moon was reaching out to the Kim family about participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics that were being held in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Over time, North Korean President Kim Jong Un warmed up to the idea and agreed to send athletes to the Games. Then, the two neighboring countries agreed to march together under a united flag at the opening ceremony of the Winter Games.
Where The Relationship Stands
While the two nations are still technically at war, a truce signed in 1953 has kept the divided peninsula relatively peaceful. In addition to marching together at the opening ceremony, the Korean nations have formed a joint women’s ice hockey team. As for the unification of both nations, they will march under a flag that has been used before. It is a white flag with a light blue silhouette of the Korean peninsula and its surrounding islands. It was first used during the 1991 World Table Tennis Championships and most recently flown at the 2006 Winter Games in Italy. It will be interesting to witness the crowd’s response to the return of a unified flag for the first time in more than a decade.
South Korea Foots The Bill
The effort of President Moon to unify the North and South was truly remarkable, but it did come at a cost. South Korea has agreed to pay a staggering $2.6 million to cover the costs of the North Korean delegation, which includes Kim Jong Un’s sister, Kim Yo Jong. North Korea has sent about 424 people to the Games, including 23 athletes that will be competing. In addition to the athletes, the delegation includes a cheering squad, orchestra, taekwondo performers, journalists, and other necessary personnel.