Was it about sports or about politics? Of course there were gold medals and silver and bronze. And a lot of tears and smiles and those things. Let us honour the athletes. They went about it with enthusiasm. But: politics! North Korea and South Korea are not the best of friends. The entire peninsula is on the brink of war on a constant basis. North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme does not sit well with anyone. Trump calling the North Korean leader ‘the rocket man’ and the other way: ‘Trump is a dotard’ (OK, I had to look that up). Remember the summer Olympics in 1988? Those were held in South Korea as well. North Korea was on a mission to wreck it all with acts of terrorism (bombing of airplanes, etc). Many believed it was going to be a repeat. So, it was with great apprehension the games started. BUT, lo and behold! High-powered meetings and out of it came the North Korean team, participating. And there was more: North and South marched together as one team, under a unified banner. AND
had a combined ice hockey team. Was it now summer? What happened here? Will they unite? Has the world stopped or changed or?? It is complex. North is not doing well. It is simply too costly to maintain nuclear bombs and develop all this military equipment. China has pulled out as their main sponsor and sanctions are biting. Something had to break. What broke? Was it just propaganda? Or is it real? Here is my take: It is real. The economic outlook is horrible. With China not there anymore (and accounted for 90% of all trade) and sanctions galore, it does not look good. And as news cannot be controlled anymore (internet, telephones, etc) the North Korean population might now get to understand that nobody is poised on invading them. This is what the North has told its people for generations, but insofar as a lot of people are travelling to China (and Chinese going to North Korea), the truth will out. And then the trouble might start when the people figure out that they actually also can have a good and high living standard. So: no way back now. North must unite with South before it all goes pear-shaped.