Saturday February 10, 2018
Considering that a nuclear conflict over North Korea appeared imminent in recent weeks, the winter Olympics at Pyeongchang, South Korea, is a most welcome distraction – and might even deter a major war on the peninsula.
The highlight of the games was the arrival of Kim Yo-jong, the younger sister of North Korea’s ruler, Kim Jong-un. This was the first time a member of North Korea’s ruling Kim dynasty had come to South Korea. Her handshake with South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-in was a historic and welcome moment.
So too the planned joint marches by North and South Korean athletes under a new reunification flag. For all Koreans, this was a deeply emotional and inspiring ceremony.
But not for US Vice President Mike Pence, who was sent by Trump to give the Olympics the evil eye. He even refused to stand for the joint marchers in a surly act that spoke volumes about his role. Whether he meets President Moon or Kim Yo-jong remains to be seen. Even a cup of tea between Pence and Kim could end all the crazy talk about nuclear war. Does anyone in Washington know that North Korea lies between China and Russia?