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South Korea's Moon takes flak for Olympic outreach to North

2018年01月22日 02時34分07秒 | Weblog
January 21, 2018 2:16 am JST
South Korea's Moon takes flak for Olympic outreach to North
Poll finds 82% of 20- and 30-somethings oppose joint hockey team

HIROSHI MINEGISHI, Nikkei staff writer



South Korean President Moon Jae-in, left, meets with the country's speed skaters on Jan. 17. © AP

SEOUL -- South Koreans are turning on President Moon Jae-in over his push for displays of unity with the North at the upcoming Winter Olympics.

The two sides have agreed to form a joint women's ice hockey team, and their athletes are to march together behind a common flag at the opening ceremonies in Pyeongchang on Feb. 9. During his election campaign, Moon pledged to take advantage of hosting the Olympics to restart exchanges with the North through sports, and he has followed through despite the heightened tensions on the peninsula.

Many South Koreans, however, are not happy -- particularly younger citizens. A survey by TV station SBS found that 72% of the respondents had a negative view of the joint hockey team. The ratio rose to 82% among respondents in their 20s and 30s.

When the survey asked about a plan to cover North Korean athletes' lodging expenses during the games, opponents exceeded supporters by nearly 10 percentage points.


There appears to be a widespread sense that South Korea's own athletes are being shortchanged. Many young South Koreans also resent North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who inherited absolute power early in life and insists on pushing his missile and nuclear weapons programs.







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