It looked like North Korea and South Korea were making progress after finally opening communications and agreeing to have their athletes march under the same flag in the upcoming Winter Olympics, but now North Korea has abruptly backed out of holding a scheduled joint concert with South Korea.
The musical concert was set to occur this Sunday at a mountain resort in the North, but apparently North Korea leader Kim Jong-Un was displeased with recent South Korea press reports questioning his country’s hidden agenda for holding the joint musical performance.
Seoul’s Ministry of Unification said that in response to the recent “biased” and “insulting” media criticism, North Korea sent a message saying they had no other option but to cancel.
“Pyongyang also cited South Korean press reports criticizing the North’s plans to hold a “domestic event” next week, an apparent reference to preparations for what appeared to be a large military parade on Feb. 8 in the North Korean capital to commemorate the founding of the North Korean army,” writes Wall Street Journal. “South Korea’s government said it was concerned over the North’s “unilateral” action, and it stressed the need for “mutual respect and understanding,” the Unification Ministry.”
Before this recent North Korea move, the countries appeared to be in a cordial place for the first time in a long time.
About a month ago, North Korea and South Korea started to communicate again after two years of no direct communication.
Jong-un expressed interest in opening communications with South Korea to discuss participation in the Winter Olympics in his New Year’s Day speech. Then it was soon announced that the two countries will be marching together in unity into the Winter Games.
Although these recent developments seemed promising, several media sources and world leaders were suspicious of North Korea’s motive.
“Throughout the dialogue, however, North Korean state media lashed out against South Korean media and conservative politicians, who decried the North’s participation in the Olympics as a ploy to enhance its image at South Korea’s expense,” writes WSJ. ‘A group of South Koreans burned a North Korean flag and an image of Mr. Kim outside the Seoul train station during the recent visit of a North Korean delegation of venue inspectors, triggering another angry statement from Pyongyang.”
As of now, the countries are still planning to continue to march together at the Winter Games and form a joint Women’s hockey team, as previously announced.
The day before the Winter Olympics, North Korea is allegedly planning to have a parade with hundreds of the country’s missiles and rockets, including dozens of long-range missiles.
This news comes after President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech where he criticized the Kim regime and provided personal accounts of its victims
Author’s note: South Korea will always have to walk on eggshells to try to keep somewhat of a diplomatic balance with North Korea. A sensitive and rejected North Korea is walking around like a bear just out of hibernation, you can either feed it and maybe make it your friend, or you can piss it off and it will attack you. You can’t blame South Korea for being concerned either and the newspapers for expressing this because they have legitimate worries about cooperating with the North. But this is a burden they are taking on for the entire world, so South Korea can’t mess it up. They also have a lot to gain from reunification. Not to mention, the families that could finally be reunited after being separated for over 60 years.