February 13, 2018 | 3:16pm |Updated February 13, 2018 | 3:35pm
North Korea went rogue at the Winter Olympics, flying a flag that depicts contested islands off the peninsula’s coast — and some everyday South Koreans couldn’t be happier.
During the unified Korean women’s hockey team game Sunday, cheerleaders for the Hermit Kingdom waved flags depicting a unified peninsula, which include the controversial Dokdo Islands in the Sea of Japan to the east.
South Korea controls the islands, but Japan and North Korea have also claimed sovereignty.
The land battle is so divisive that South Korea edited out a reference to the islands from a traditional folk ballad that the nation’s figure skaters performed over the weekend — an effort to avoid politicizing the Olympics and offending Japan.
South Korea also agreed to only wave flags that did not feature the disputed islands — a move unpopular with some who harbor bad blood over Japan’s occupation of the peninsula from 1910 to 1945.
But North Koreans flew pennants showing the Dokdo Islands anyhow, with state-controlled news website Uriminzokkiri arguing: “legally and historically it is clear that Dokdo is our people’s territory.”
The North and South have been locked in perpetual civil war since 1950, but southerners temporarily forgot the animosity in the face of their shared rivalry with Japan.
“North Korea is doing a good job,” one South Korean tweeted, according to the Korea Times. “It is just an IOC recommendation. South Korea can’t act in such a way because we are very cautious about offending other countries. But North Korea doesn’t care.”
Added another South Korean commenter: “I think South Koreans should be grateful that North Korea keeps the Dokdo-showing flag.”
Southern officials have also indicated new interest in peace talks with the North following a visit from northern despot Kim Jung Un’s sister Kim Yo Jong.
With Post wires