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Korean Olympics: Pathway to Peace or Pact with the Devil?

Wendy Simmons is either crazy, or she has a spirit of adventure that far exceeds my own. Either way, her book My Holiday in North Korea; The Funniest Worst Place on Earth, is fascinating.

I mean, who goes to North Korea on a vacation?

Granted, Wendy’s trip took place a couple of years before Otto Warmbier was held prisoner for 17 months and returned to the United States in a coma, where he died just days after his release. Wendy Simmons didn’t pull any death-defying pranks that landed her in a labor camp, like removing a sign bearing a propaganda slogan.

But seriously, a vacation in North Korea?

Wendy knew better than to step outside her motel room when she wasn’t supposed to. In her own words, “It’s amazing how badly you want to go outside when you’re not allowed to. It was such a nice night in Pyongyang, and all I wanted to do was not be stuck inside my dim, drab, smoky, weird, empty hotel.”

Is Korean Olympic unification a pathway to peace or a pact with the devil? I hope for the former, fear for the latter.

Twenty-two North Korean athletes are participating in the Olympics, along with about 230 cheerleaders. The two Koreas are teaming up to field a joint women’s ice hockey team and marching under a single Korean Unification flag.

I hope Pope Francis and Moon Jae-in are right.

But there’s also the pact with the devil side of the equation, which gives rise to the obvious question of whether appeasing a dictator or providing a legitimate forum to someone guilty of the atrocities that Kim Jong-un has perpetrated on his people could ever bring about any sort of reconciliation.

Writer, editor, publisher, journalist, author, columnist, believer in enjoying my journey and helping other people enjoy theirs. bknicholson@att.net

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