21 February 2018
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas

  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia
  •    - China
  •    - Hong Kong
  •    - Japan
  •    - Macau
  •    - North Korea
  •    - South Korea
  •    - Taiwan

  • » 02/12/2018, 15.29


    PyeongChang Olympics: Taekwondo for peace

    About 70 athletes from both Koreas took part in a taekwondo performance today. A North Korean orchestra gave a concert before an audience that included the South Korean president and a North Korean delegation. The last song of the soirée embodied the desire for reunification, sung by North Korean singers and a South Korean K-pop star. Post-Olympic diplomacy now begins following the departure of the North Korean delegation.

    Seoul (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Taekwondo teams from South and North Korea took part in a joint performance of both countries’ national sport.

    The event was held today in Seoul City Hall to celebrate the PyeongChang Olympics, with the participation of almost 70 athletes from the North and the South (pictures 1 and 2).

    The performance began with the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) team. A large banner that read "One World, One Taekwondo" descended from the top when they broke a pine board to the beat of a rock-version of the traditional Korean song "Arirang".

    The North's team captivated the audience by demonstrating its skills by smashing a 10-cm thick pine board. Some female athletes from the North surprised the audience by smashing ten pine boards in a row.

    An emotional International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) president Ri Yong-son, from North Korea, said that “The root of taekwondo is one.”

    The same emotions could be read on the face of Kim Yong-nam (picture 3), president of the Supreme People's Assembly of North Korea, during the concert by North Korea’s Samjiyon Orchestra, two days ago in the Haeoreum Hall at the National Theatre of Korea in Seoul, one of the last events the North Korean delegation attended before going home.

    Among those in attendance were South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his wife, seated next to Kim Yong-nam and Kim Jong-un's younger sister, Kim Yo-jong.

    ‘Our Wish’, a song released in 1947 but written during Japan’s colonial rule over Korea, caught the attention of South Korean media.

    The song’s original lyrics, “Our wish is independence”, were revised to the current version, “Our wish is unification”, in 1948.  

    World famous K-pop star Seohyun sang with the North Korean performers, holding hands with one, hugging at the end (picture 4) as the audience gave them a standing ovation.

    About 1,500 people attended the performance, 1,000 of whom were ordinary citizens chosen by lottery. Others were special guests invited by the government.

    As the North Korean delegation left last night, post-Olympic diplomacy is set to start, especially after Kim Jong-un's invitation to President Moon to visit Pyongyang.

    South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said she will carry out her obligations as the diplomatic chief with "active" and "creative" vision and ways of thinking.

    According to experts, it is likely that Seoul will decide to send a special envoy to Pyongyang.

    Today, North Korean daily Rodong Sinmun, the mouthpiece of the ruling party, said that the delegation's visit was "an important occasion in improving relations between North and South Korea, and setting up an environment for peace on the Korean Peninsula".

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version

    See also

    02/01/2018 10:24:00 KOREA
    Kim Jong-un opens to Winter Games in South Korea. Seoul: Let's sit down and talk

    The proposal of the Minister of Unification in a press conference. Moon: dissolve frozen relations. It would be the first summit since December 2015.

    13/02/2018 12:58:00 KOREA
    Kim Jong-un, 'grateful' to Seoul, promises to commit to reconciliation

    Yesterday, the meeting with the delegation that returned from Seoul. Blue house: the next probable step is military negotiation between the two Koreas.

    05/01/2018 09:04:00 KOREA
    Pyongyang accepts Seoul's outstretched hand: talks on January 9th

    The two Koreas will meet in the demilitarized zone on January 9th. Postponement of US-South Korea military exercises to facilitate meeting. Seoul seeks to restore inter-Korean relations without distancing US ally.

    25/01/2018 09:30:00 KOREA
    PyeongChang Olympics, dialogue continues. Pyongyang: 'breakthrough' needed for reunification

    Today the North Korean athletes of the hockey team arrive. Criticism and applause for Moon: Olympics of Peace or Pyongyang?

    15/01/2018 14:19:00 KOREA
    Olympics, new meeting between the two Koreas. Consensus grows among South Koreans

    Pyongyang's participation at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics is being prepared. On the 20th there will be the meeting with the International Olympic Committee. Many logistical aspects to be analyzed. Since January 9, 64% of online comments on South Korean sites are positive. 

    Editor's choices

    The tears of Chinese bishops. A portrait of Msgr. Zhuang, bishop of Shantou

    Padre Pietro

    A priest of the official Church, recalls the 88 year old bishop that the Vatican wants to replace with an illegitimate bishop, to please the regime. Mons. Zhuang Jianjian became an underground bishop at the behest of the Vatican in 2006. Card. Zen and Msgr. Zhuang, image of the faithful Church, "which provokes an immense sadness and a sense of impotence". The hopes of card. Parolin to console "the past and present sufferings of Chinese Catholics".

    Card. Zen on the bishops of Shantou and Mindong

    Card. Joseph Zen

    The bishop emeritus of Hong Kong confirms the information published in recent days by AsiaNews and reveals details of his conversation with Pope Francis on these topics: "Do not create another Mindszenty case", the primate of Hungary whom the Vatican forced to leave the country, appointing a successor in Budapest, at the will of the communist government of the time. 


    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.


    News feed

    Canale RSSRSS channel 


    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®