Amid Olympic unity, South Korea walks a tightrope

Amid Olympic unity, South Korea walks a tightrope

Delegations from Seoul and Pyongyang will meet with the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne, Switzerland today to discuss the mechanics of their joint representation in the upcoming Winter Olympics—first time since the 2006 Winter Olympics. The proposed unification team is a major win for South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s diplomacy. However, 20 of Mr Moon’s

Korea

Photo: Getty Images

Delegations from Seoul and Pyongyang will meet with the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne, Switzerland today to discuss the mechanics of their joint representation in the upcoming Winter Olympics—first time since the 2006 Winter Olympics.

The proposed unification team is a major win for South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s diplomacy. However, 20 of Mr Moon’s allies took part in US and Canadian-brokered talks to discuss stricter enforcement of sanctions on Pyongyang.

It is quite clear Mr Moon wants to de-escalate tensions, but also placate President Trump—hence the US-South Korean joint military exercises in December. However, Mr Moon’s overall aims for a “peaceful resolution” of the Korean conflict does fit nicely with China’s views. Given Seoul’s willingness to seize Chinese-flagged ships at port, this Olympic rapprochement appears more of a balancing act, rather than a full-blown pivot to Beijing.

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