Korean jaw, jaw beats war, war

The Olympic Games is an event intended to unite humankind and if the winter special helps in bringing the old foes a little closer together.


After all the posturing, sabre-rattling and macho stare downs around North and South Korea last year, the meeting between the two countries this week was a breeze of hope.

Granted, the meeting was comparatively minor – to finalise the details of allowing North Korean athletes to compete in the upcoming Winter Olympic Games, which will be held in South Korea – but it was the first between the estranged cousins for two years.

That alone was a cause for optimism and South Korea and its ally, the US, entered into the spirit of things by agreeing to postpone their annual joint military exercises – always a cause of tension with North Korea – until after the Games.

It is true that North Korea has not stopped its nuclear weapons development programme, nor that the isolationist nation has changed its hardline attitude to Seoul and Washington, but the latest meeting emphasises the old truism that jaw, jaw is better than war, war.

The Olympic Games is an event intended to unite humankind and if the winter special helps in bringing the old foes a little closer together – and easing tensions in the most volatile area on the planet – we can all heave a sigh of relief.

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