In the 2000 Sydney Olympics, we saw the teams of North and South Korea marching together. This was repeated for the 2004 and 2006 (Winter) Olympics.

This didn't happen in 2008 (and we can understand that the relationship between Korea and China is very sensitive, so we allow them some diplomacy.) But in 2012 in London they didn't march together.

So I'm wondering - what is going on? Have they stopped now?

My question is: Why have North and South Korea stopped marching together at the Olympics?


Because it was decided that the two teams would compete separately.

Originally, there were hopes for the two teams to not only march as one in the 2008 Olympics, but to compete as a single entity, a 'Korea' team. However, negotiations failed, and the two teams ended up marching separately as a result.

Since then, there have been several diplomatic incidents between the two countries, and due to the changed relationship, it is unlikely we will see them marching together again for the foreseeable future.

The link is deprecated, but it roughly says:

The flag was not used in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China due to the decision made by the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (BOCOG) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), that the two teams would enter separately. The two countries also marched separately at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. North Korea did not participate in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

The flag mentioned is the Korean Unification Flag, which looks like this:

enter image description here

  • Thanks - that's helpful - I think I'm looking for the intrinsic motivation behind it - I'm aware of the fact.
    – hawkeye
    Mar 23 '16 at 11:41
  • @hawkeye there was a protracted campaign to get the two to compete as one nation in the 2008 olympics. When negotiations failed, they marched separately again. As since then, relationships have grown even more bitter sue to several diplomatic incidents, it is unlikely they will continue in the forseeable future
    – Rugnir
    Mar 23 '16 at 11:47
  • 1
    Cool - incorporate that in your answer and we're home and hosed.
    – hawkeye
    Mar 23 '16 at 11:48
  • @hawkeye see my revised answer.
    – Rugnir
    Mar 23 '16 at 11:54
  • Apparently Socchi was just a lack of qualifying athletes, not a boycott. Mar 26 '16 at 1:07

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