SEOUL, South Korea — The last time South Korea hosted an Olympics, in 1988, the North not only refused to take part, it blew up a south Korean airliner 10 months before the Games. Yet South Koreans at the time expressed hope that the two Koreas, divided by the Cold War, could one day become a single nation again.
Now, as the South prepares to host its second Games next month, the Koreas are cooperating in unheard-of ways, including their first joint Olympic team , in women’s ice hockey. But South Koreans, especially younger ones, are far less interested in reconciliation, to say nothing of reunification Experts and recent surveys describe a profound shift in attitudes in South Korea, where reuniting the peninsula, and the Korean people, was long held as a sacrosanct goal. These days, younger South Koreans in particular are far more likely to see the idea of reintegrating their prosperous capitalist democracy with the impoverished, totalitarian North as unrealistic and undesirable.Read more