- South Korea’s President Moon Jae In’s popularity has dipped after a series of political dust-ups and disapproval of including North Koreans in South Korean Olympic endeavors.
- South Korean and North Korean women will compete in hockey, with the North Korean athletes being included in the game for political reasons, rather than their merit as athletes.
- South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense warned that North Korea’s diplomatic efforts could actually be a front to weaken the US-South Korean alliance.
While South Korea’s President Moon Jae In talks up the recent wave of negotiations with North Korea as making inroads to denuclearization and peace, the majority of South Koreans don’t like the deals being made.
NHK, Japan’s national broadcaster, cites multiple polls as saying 70% of South Koreans don’t want a joint Korean women’s hockey team at the PyeongChang Games.
Young people, who supported Moon and helped him win the presidency after former South Korean President Park Geun-hye was removed from office after an influence-peddling scheme came to light, disapprove of the joint team most, according to NHK.
The joint team, which will include North Korean women playing alongside South Korean women in a move more based on Korean unity and inclusion than the merit of the athletes, has been heavily supported by Moon.
But recent polls show that Moon’s popularity has taken a hit, falling to a four-month low. Moon has been accused by past presidents of targeting them with investigations as a means of political retaliation, crafting confusing cryptocurrency policy, and now including North Korean athletes in South Korean teams at the expense of the fans.
Though Moon has long desired talks with North Korea and sees them as a “precious chance to open the door” to peace, South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense has warned that Pyongyang’s diplomatic efforts could be an “attempt to weaken ROK – US cooperation.”