North Korean Olympic officials arrived in Switzerland on Thursday ahead of weekend talks at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to finalize Pyongyang's participation. "Does North Korea have so much privilege to do whatever they want?"
Also during Wednesday's talks, the Koreas agreed to march together under the Korea Unification Flag at the opening ceremony on February 9.
The Koreas' plan to do so again at next month's Pyeongchang Olympics hasn't generated much enthusiasm among South Koreans, with many conservatives asking why their athletes can not carry their own national flag during the first Winter Olympics on their soil. The North's Masikryong Ski Resort, where the South has offered to send budding skiers to train, was built using child labor. Just as Pyongyang frequently threatens to rain down fire on Seoul in response to perceived military threat from the South and the United States, rapprochement between the two Koreas is also a threat it holds out against another country - China.
After three high-level meetings along their border in little over a week, North and South Korea have proposed forming a joint women's ice hockey team and allowing their athletes to march together under one flag at next month's games in South Korea. The flag featured prominently in the stands during the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, after officials barred spectators from bringing the North Korean flag into stadiums. "The fact that North Korea is engaging in dialogue could be interpreted as proof that the sanctions are working".
The most telling video of the North's treatment of its own people can be seen in the meeting of the two groups to discuss the Olympics. As long as the present family dictatorship runs North Korea there will be no peace treaty. There was a Refugee Olympic Athletes team at the Rio Olympics in 2016 that included a Syrian swimmer and a South Sudanese runner. The name displayed during the marches was "Korea", although the North and South competed separately for medals.
The parties negotiating North Korea's role in the Winter Olympics secured a promising but vague deal last week, and agreed to settle the details before the Games begin next month.
North Korea's official news agency responded today to President Donald Trump's controversial "nuclear button tweet", describing it as the "spasm of a lunatic", according to The Associated Press. The North regularly threatens to destroy the South, Japan and their major ally, the U.S.
Hyon Song-wol, leader of the popular Moranbong Band, was photographed alongside head of South Korea's delegation Kwon Hook Bong and the head of the North's team, Lee Woo-sung.
"We're at a very tenuous stage in terms of how far North Korea has taken their program and what we can do to convince them to take an alternative path", Rex Tillerson, United States Secretary of State, said in Vancouver.