North Korea In, Russia Out Of 2018 South Korea Olympics

so Kafka isn’t it?



Who would have thought that the 2018 South Korea Olympics would feature a team from North Korea and not have a Russian team competing? That is the status of the Olympics with a bit more than three weeks to go before the event gets underway. North Korea apparently is also sending a delegation to represent the county at the South Korea sports celebration. In a way, this is a victory for the International Olympic Committee in a stated goal of using sports to make the world safer. Just because North Korea has athletes competing in South Korea, it does not mean tensions between North Korea and the United States have thawed nor does it mean than strains between the two Koreas have abated and it doesn’t mean that Japan is all of a sudden going to trust the North Korean regime. What is it? An opening that could produce some talks between the US, South Korea and Japan and maybe some pressure to expand the talks from just a sports event to something more substernal that can include China and Russia.

Russia will not have a team after being tossed from the 2018 Olympics by the IOC for a doping scheme although Russia had many allies Russia saying should be there. The IOC and the World Anti-Doping Agency were at odds over whether Russia should have competed in the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics. Russia did participate with the IOC’s backing after WADA suggested a ban. Last fall, the World Anti-Doping Agency President Sir Craig Reedie did an about face and was against banning the Russian team from the 2018 South Korean Games. Switzerland’s Patrick Baumann said the National Anti-Doping Organization members including the United States and Britain, did not have the “moral ground” to push for banning the Russian team. There will be Russian athletes participating in the South Korea Games as neutral competitors. The Russians are coming after all.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach, left, is escorted by South Korea’s Prime Minister and acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn for a meeting in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, March 14, 2017. (Kim Kyung-Hoon/Pool Photo via AP)