Despite historical contradictions, Pyongyang and Seoul are focused on peaceful dialogue. This behavior is dramatically different from how the North behaved in the past. 

Diplomacy

North and South Korea had peace talks for the first time since 2015. Heads of delegations met in the so-called “truce village”, Panmunjom, where the border between the two countries runs.

The main topic of the talks was the issue of improving relations between the states. They also discussed the possible participation of DPRK’s athletes in the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang.

North Korea agreed with the South on sending a “special delegation” to the Olympics, which will include artists, musicians and a team of athletes. Pyongyang and Seoul also agreed to resume full-fledged work of the hotline between the armed forces of the two states. Its main goal is to prevent an aggravation of the situation in the region.

Violent past

North Korea has been participating in the Winter Games since 1964, and in the Summer Games since 1972. During this time, the country earned 117 medals, 16 of them – golden. North Korean athletes show the greatest success in the fight weightlifting, boxing and judo.

In 1987, North Korean agents blew up the South Korean Boeing 707. That disaster killed 115 people, mostly residents of South Korea.  By this act Kim Il Sung hoped to disrupt the Summer Olympics-1988  in Seoul. Shortly before the attack, the DPRK expressed a desire to host part of the competition, but was refused.

In 2002, the FIFA World Cup was held in Japan and South Korea. In the past, the Korean team did not win matches at the World Cup. But that year it overcame Poland, the USA, Portugal, Italy and Spain.

However, during the semi-final with Turkey, the Korean people’s triumph was interrupted by a sudden attack. North Korean patrol boats shelled the South Korean fleet. Six soldiers of South Korea were killed, another 18 were wounded.

This collision is usually called “a forgotten conflict” as it was overshadowed by the nationwide festive mood over the World Cup.

 

 

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