ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon Print
The Nikkei View

Beware North Korea's Olympic charm offensive

Engaging with Pyongyang without progress on denuclearization is a fool's game

Kim Yong Chol, right, vice chairman of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party Central Committee, watches the closing ceremony of 2018 Winter Olympics at Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium in South Korea on Feb. 25.   © Reuters

North Korea's Olympic diplomacy aimed to put a friendly face on the regime, but the world should not be taken in by Pyongyang's dangerous charm offensive. The country's only aim, it seems, is to ease the sting of sanctions without giving up its status as a nuclear state.

North Korea sent a high-ranking delegation to both the opening and closing ceremonies of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. The latter was led by Kim Yong Chol, vice chairman of the ruling Workers' Party Central Committee and head of the party's United Front Department. The delegation's visit drew a fierce outcry from conservatives in South Korea, not least because Kim is believed to have masterminded the attack on Yeonpyeong Island and the sinking of the South Korean navy patrol boat Cheonan in 2010.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

Discover the all new Nikkei Asia app

  • Take your reading anywhere with offline reading functions
  • Never miss a story with breaking news alerts
  • Customize your reading experience

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more