South Korea's Chosun Ilbo has some concerns:
Strange things are happening on the Korean Peninsula just three weeks before the start of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. North Korea is preparing a massive military parade on Feb. 8, marking the 70th anniversary of its standing army, a day before the Olympics starts. One Canadian-owned organization in China that pushes exchanges with North Korea has already started selling package tours for the parade, with the option of moving on to South Korea for the Olympics. It must appeal to an interesting niche market. Normally North Korea celebrates the army anniversary on April 25, so it is blatantly obvious what it is up to. It wants to flaunt its nuclear power and try to steal the show, with a strong message that it has no intention of giving up its nukes, Olympics or no Olympics.
South Korea is taking the exact opposite tack. A U.S. nuclear-powered submarine that was trying to dock in Busan was apparently shooed away for fear of agitating North Korea and told to dock discreetly at Jinhae, which further out of the international eye. Instead, the U.S. decided to skip the port call altogether, though how miffed it was is unknown....
[F]or Pyeongchang, politics is becoming the sole concern while sports is being pushed backstage. How can we let the Olympics become a propaganda opportunity for the world's most oppressive state?
As I noted before, it's all give by the South, and take by the North.
For a clear example of sport being pushed backstage in favour of politics, take the dramatic announcement that the North and South will be fielding a unified Korean women's ice hockey team. Unfortunately, for all the South Korean politicians' enthusiasm, nobody seems to have consulted the actual players:
Women's ice hockey goalie Shin So-jung on Thursday told the Chosun Ilbo of her regrets that the two Koreas have chosen her sport to field an inter-Korean team for the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang next month.
"I've dreamed of being on the Olympic squad for 14 years. I'm really perplexed and disappointed because I had such high hopes for it," she said. "I can't still believe that all this happened less than a month away from the Olympics."...
Asked whether they were ever consulted ahead of the decision to form the unified team, Shin said, "Not a word. It was such a shock because we hadn't heard anything until we arrived at the airport last week from field training in the U.S."
Up to eight North Korean players are to join the unified team. The government said this will not affect South Korean players, but there is no option but to kick some of them off the roster, which is limited to 22 per match, and reduce playing time in rotation....
Not the least of her worries is "team chemistry." "Injecting North Korean players, even if they outperform us, would hurt the team's overall performance anyway. Hockey is a team sport, which means tightly working as a team is more important than each individual player's skill."
Shin competed in three out of six matches against North Korea. "I can definitely say that we're in a different league from the North." When asked if she remembers any impressive North Korean player, she simply said, "No."