By In essay, Korea, Olympics

If I’m an Expert, Something is Wrong

I sat uncomfortably on a small stool in front of a green screen that would end up depicting a still image of central Seoul. A small microphone poking out of my shirt enabled me to speak to a news anchor in Beijing about the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, specifically about the inter-Korean geopolitics at play. As I talked about the implications of a joint North-South women’s hockey team or the 1988 Seoul Olympics or being cautiously optimistic or something, a banner appeared on the screen with the words “political analyst” written across it. Fair enough: even if the nomenclature was a bit hoity-toity for what I actually am, I was, in fact, analyzing a political situation. As I continued to speak, the screen jumped to a picture of athletes from North and South Korea holding hands as they walked together for the opening ceremonies. When the screen came back to me, the title beneath my name had changed. I was officially, for those few fleeting minutes, an “expert.”

That’s when I knew there was a crisis of expertise…

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By In Korea, Olympics

How North Koreans View The Pyeongchang Olympics

“In his New Year’s address, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had a mixed bag of messages, for the North Korean people and the world. The speech, translated into English, ran more than 5000 words. The first three quarters of the speech were standard stuff: we have nukes, get over it and let’s continue to develop our economy. Then the tone shifted.

“This year is significant both for the North and the South, as in the North the people will greet the 70th founding anniversary of their Republic as a great, auspicious event, and in the South the Winter Olympic Games will take place,” Kim Jong-un said.

This is notable, not just in the context of the rest of the speech or the recent tensions on the Korean peninsula, but because this is a tremendous departure from how North Korea responded the last time South Korea hosted the Olympics 30 years ago…”


Read more at Vice Sports

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