North Korea and South Korea are regrettably competing together at the 2018 Winter Olympics, and I do not think that is a great idea.
On Monday, I suggested that it makes no sense for such politically different countries to be competing under a shared political symbol. On Wednesday, I suggested that it was not smart for South Korea to present themselves as associated with such a morally problematic nation.
I would submit one final thought to this discussion.
Despite all of this political theater, nothing is going to change tomorrow. We have seen numerous reports about Kim Jong Un’s sister at the Olympics, and CNN reported how she is “stealing the show.” She looks like a commercial. North Korea is friendly, attractive and happy. All of you on the outside have simply been misinterpreting the intentions of this wonderful nation.
Of course this manufactured image is exactly the reason why North Korea wanted to show this unified front with South Korea. They look like the good guys. All of a sudden, they are getting along with South Korea. All of a sudden, the sister of their dictator seems to be playing nicely with other world leaders. Maybe they are turning over a new leaf.
This is the equivalent of a McDonald’s running a commercial saying they are a health food chain. We all know is not true, but some people will buy it because they want to believe the marketing campaigns. A carefully crafted image has a way of pushing away doubts because it is what we want to believe.
On Monday and Wednesday, I suggested that the average Korean citizen probably wants this to work. They probably want to reduce tensions in the region. I honestly think that most of us here in United States or around the world want this to be true as well. We want to believe that North Korea will all of a sudden become like most other normal, reasonable countries and act like members of the international community.
For a country that is so wrapped up in identifying fake news right now, I really hope that most people are able to see through this. Right now, North Korea is marketing to the world. They want to improve their image, so they are getting along with other people. I want to see their actions reflect this new image. Are they going to treat their people better? Are they going to stop acting like a dictatorship? Are they going to stop putting foreign visitors in jail?
These are important questions that actually need to be answered, and unfortunately, by including North Korea in these Olympics as part of the unified Korean team, South Korea has encouraged this marketing campaign. They now have propaganda they can spin to make it look like they are changing while in actuality, they may not do anything differently in North Korea. Everything may proceed as it always has been, but North Korea will be able to use this exactly the way they want to. They want to gain favor in the world without changing their dictatorship. The Olympics have a way of bringing people together. This was a boon for them, and I really don’t know why South Korea agreed to help them in this process.