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North and South Korea agree to march together at Olympics -- is that a good thing?

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)
1/17/2018 (4 months ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

A sincere move toward peace? Or a ruthless gambit?

North and South Korea have reached a remarkable agreement to march into the Olympic games under a unified banner. In addition to the unified march, the two countries will form a joint women's ice hockey team, and North Korea will send a delegation of 230 cheerleaders. While the agreement is being praised, there are concerns it could be a gambit by the North to buy time to develop their weapons and alienate the United States. 

North Korean athletes march under their own banner in the 2016 Olympics. In a few weeks, they will march under a unified banner with South Korea.

North Korean athletes march under their own banner in the 2016 Olympics. In a few weeks, they will march under a unified banner with South Korea.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
1/17/2018 (4 months ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: North Korea, South Korea, Olympics, march, banner, peace, talks, hockey, cheerleaders, nuclear


LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - North and South Korea have agreed to march under a single banner at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. The games begin on February 9. 

The agreement was reached following a week of talks between the two countries intended to repair strained relations. The agreement stipulates that the teams of both countries will march under a unified banner during the opening ceremonies and they will form a joint women's ice hockey team. North Korea is also sending a delegation of 230 cheerleaders to the games. 

The decision is surprising given recent tensions on the peninsula. Where many experts have expressed concern that war could be imminent, there is now a sudden move toward peace. 

However, critics say the move by North Korea is nothing more than a gambit, intended to buy time for the country to develop their weapons of mass destruction. The move could also be intended to drive a wedge between South Korea and the United States and to parry a potential preemptive strike. Rumors have emerged that President Trump has prepared a preemptive strike plan for North Korea and a pair of B-2 stealth bombers was recently deployed to Guam. 

The world community will not tolerate a U.S. strike on North Korea at a time when the North and South are behaving amicably toward one another. 

It is almost certain that North Korea will continue to develop its weapons of mass destruction program, even during the Olympic games. The move buys time. It should also be remembered that North Korea still has an estimated 200,000 of its own people suffering in concentration camps. 

In other words, despite the recent move towards peace, North Korea remains an evil regime led by a brutal dictator bent on developing weapons of mass destruction. The North's cruelty will not be undone by talks and negotiations. Nor should we believe they are abandoning their ambitions of becoming a nuclear power or of unifying the peninsula under their regime. 

Peace is always preferable to war, but unless these developments can be translated into peaceful and humane regime change, they merely delay the inevitable, terrible consequences of allowing dictatorships to flourish. 

North Korea remains one of the most dangerous places on the planet for Christians, despite the spread of the faith in that country. We pray for peace, and we pray for freedom. 

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