North Korea’s decision to send athletes to the Winter Olympics is a very controversial topic amongst Americans.
Wethersfield High School sophomore Lucas Amoroso said “I think North Korea sending athletes could be a step in the right direction, kind of like an olive branch. If it could bring North and South Korea together that’d be great.”
Some people have a very positive view about this. The North Koreans Participating in a world-wide sporting event shows that they are willing to be civil with foreign nations, the United States included.
In contrast to his optimistic outlook, senior Kylee Rossier said “I think that’s a little scary because if they’re threatening us with nuclear weapons but then casually participating in the Olympics, it’s kind of ironic.”
Many people are still wary about what this means. America’s relationship with North Korea has been hostile since the Korean War in the 1950s and has only been amplified with threats of nuclear warfare. It seems suspicious to have North Korea suddenly decide to be civil for no apparent reason.
This is a drastic change from the last time the Olympics were held in South Korea in 1988. At those Olympics, the North Koreans refused to participate and went as far as to plant a bomb on a Korean airplane which killed 115 people in what the South Koreans thought to be an attempt to sabotage the games.
Amidst the controversy, there is no doubt that this is a historic event. This was the first Winter Olympics that they have participated in in eight years and, despite having won no medals, it is still a very big deal.
With the heavy restrictions on media in North Korea, it is doubtful that the North Koreans were able to get the full Olympics experience. They most likely weren’t able to watch them live and didn’t get to see all of the events.