SEOUL, Jan. 25 (Korea Bizwire) — More than half of South Koreans support the two Koreas marching together at the opening ceremonies of the PyeongChang Olympics, but many still oppose the idea of a unified ice hockey team, a new survey has found.
According to survey findings released by the Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation on Thursday, over 60 percent of respondents showed approval for a joint entrance at the 2018 Winter Olympics, while just over 34 percent disapproved.
Over 74 percent held positive views of a North Korean cheering squad, while 65.5 percent also approved a North Korean art troupe performing in celebration of the Winter Olympics.
Opinions varied, however, on other roles that North Korea might play in the upcoming Olympics, with 47.4 percent expressing disapproval for the use of a ‘unified’ flag during the opening ceremony, instead of each team holding their official national flag.
On the controversial unified female ice hockey team, more South Koreans expressed disapproval, with 58.7 percent saying it was ‘unfair for some South Korean ice hockey players to lose the chance to play.’
In the meantime, only 37.7 percent agreed with the idea of a unified ice hockey team on account of its positive contribution to relations between the North and South.
Despite divided opinions, many South Koreans were hopeful that the North’s role could give a boost to the success of the PyeongChang Olympics, with over half of the respondents believing the interesting turn of events will have a positive impact on relations between the two countries.
When asked about North Korea, over 7 in 10 people said South Korea’s northern neighbors are of the same ethnicity but from a difference country, while just over 1 in 4 said North Koreans are of the same ethnicity as well as from the same country.
On the prospect of war in five years, over 73 percent said it was unlikely, while 21 percent claimed it might be possible.
The survey was conducted by Hankook Research, at the request of the Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation, based on computer-assisted telephone interviews of a sample of 800 adults aged over 19.
The survey has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points with a confidence level of 95 percent.
Hyunsu Yim (firstname.lastname@example.org)