Koreans Will March Together at the Olympics


North Korea and South Korea will march together at the opening ceremony under a unification flag. (NPR)

Who will not be marching at the Olympics?

Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers Toolkit.

Discussion Ideas

  • In a historic move, North Korea and South Korea will march together in next month’s Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Why are there two Koreas?
    • The division of Korea is a result of the Cold War, not the Korean War. The Koreas have been in a state of conflict since 1945.
      • 1945: After World War II, Japan is forced to withdraw from Korea after 35 years of controlling the country. The Soviet Union occupies the northern part of the country, while the United States occupies the southern part.
      • 1948: The Republic of Korea (ROC, or South Korea) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, or North Korea) are established. Only the ROC is recognized by the United Nations.
      • 1948-1950: The new Korean nations are wracked by a lethal series of border conflicts.
      • 1950-1953: Korean War. North Korea invades South Korea, in an attempt to unify the country under its communist regime. A UN force led by the United States and more than a dozen Western allies intervenes to protect the South. North Korea’s communist allies the Soviet Union and China intervene to support the North.
      • 1953: The Korean War ends with both the DPRK invasion of the South and the UN-led invasion of the North as failures.
      • 1953: The demilitarized zone (DMZ) is established. A Joint Security Area within the DMZ is administered by both nations.
      • 2000: The first inter-Korea summit is held in Pyongyang, North Korea.
      • 2007: The second inter-Korea summit is held in Pyongyang, North Korea.


  • How are North Korea and South Korea collaborating at the 2018 Winter Olympics?


  • Have the Koreas collaborated at athletic ceremonies before?
    • Yes, but never to this extent.
      • Korean athletes marched together during the 2000 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece; the 2004 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia; the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy; and the 2007 Asian Winter Games in Changchun, China.
      • The Koreas have never before competed together at the Olympics, although they did field two joint teams (male and female) for the world table-tennis championship in 1991. The female team won gold.




NPR: North Korean Athletes Will March With South Koreans At Pyeongchang Olympics

The Atlantic: The Koreas’ Olympic Unity Could Be Fleeting

The Atlantic: North Korea and the Spotty Record of Sports Diplomacy

New York Times: North and South Korean Teams to March as One at Olympics

Nat Geo: Korean War (TDIGH)

Nat Geo: South Korea map

Nat Geo: North Korea map

PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics

3 thoughts on “Koreans Will March Together at the Olympics

Leave a Reply