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When Moon Jae-In took over as president of South Korea, he expressed a desire to mend relations with the North through peace initiatives - and one of his proposals was sport. He expected Kim Jong-un to respond favorably, but that has not happened. The South Korean president has not lost hope and feels that the forthcoming 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang from February 9-25 could act as a catalyst to unite North Korea with the South.

Moon Jae-in’s master plan

CNN reports that during an interview, the South Korean President said that the 1988 Games in Seoul played an important role because it was one that was boycotted by the least number of nations.

Moon Jae-in is hopeful that the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang will repeat that trend and help cement relationships in Asia. In his opinion, sports could be a great leveler.

In his opinion, use of the platform of sports to normalize relations between Pyongyang and Seoul could bring much-needed peace. A number of international sports events are already lined up in South Korea, Japan, and China in the coming years. These are the same countries involved in the ongoing tension in the region.

The sporting events over the next few years are the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, followed by the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. This would mean North Korea, South Korea, Japan and China will meet at every two-year interval to participate in sports. This could lead to building better relationships among them and prepare the groundwork for peace and cooperation.

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No North Korean athletes have qualified for the games in PyeongChang. However, there are indications that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) could grant wildcards to sportspersons of North Korea to ensure their participation.

Incidentally, the two Koreas love football and compete regularly in friendly and international competitions. Earlier this year, a qualifier was held in Pyongyang for the Asian Cup and thousands of fans attended the Kim Il Sung Stadium.

Sports could drive away the war clouds

The tension between the United States and North Korea continues to mount and threats and counter-threats are being tossed about. Kim Jong-un is not bothered about sanctions imposed on his country by the global community and is engrossed in improving the performance of his missiles. America, for its part, is contemplating various options to checkmate Kim. Both sides are aware of the consequences of a nuclear confrontation and an alternate solution has to emerge. Therefore, the proposal of Moon Jae-in deserves consideration and the 2018 Winter Olympics could be a way out of this situation.