Saturday, 21 July, 2018

Japanese women notch 1st Olympic victory 4-1 over Korea

Korean players celebrate a goal by Randi Heesoo Griffin against Japan during their Group B game of the women's hockey tournament at the Pyeong Chang Winter Olympics at Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung Gangwon Province on Feb. 14 201 Japanese women notch 1st Olympic victory 4-1 over Korea
Melinda Barton | 18 February, 2018, 00:21

In this file photo taken February 9, 2018, South Korean figure skater Cha Jun-hwan performs his short program during the team event at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics at Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung, Gangwon Province.

South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon confirmed plans to cover the costs, describing North Korea's participation in the Games as a milestone that could help to bring peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Their first victory in their third Olympic berth with a 4-1 win at Korea's expense. Audiences in South Korea have beheld a dance group, a bunch of cheerleaders and even the younger sister of Kim Jong-Un in a huge example of North Korea "putting its best feet forward". Then Koike scored on a slap shot from the high slot with 8:18 left, and Ukita, suspended for Japan's loss to Switzerland, had an empty-netter with 1:27 to go. Moon watched the Swiss game in person with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister, Kim Yo Jong.

Unified Korea's Randi Griffin, left, celebrates with Kim Heewon after Griffin scored a goal in the women's game against Japan on February 14, 2018.

"It's a really awesome feeling to have that support", Griffin said of the crowd.

Other officials have pointed out the problem with this thinking, however, mostly recently Victor Cha, who was dropped as presumptive candidate for Ambassador to South Korea for noting that, if indeed North Korea was totally irrational, preemptive attacks were no more likely to sell them on capitulation than anything else that might be done.

Kubo scored 67 seconds in, and Ono added a power-play goal at 3:58.

Griffin shrugged her goal off as nearly accidental.

"The two Koreas playing as a joint team alone is significant enough but the fact that we are competing against Japan is incredibly symbolic", Kim Seong-kyung, 30, a Seoul resident who stood in line with her husband for two hours, said before the game began.

The North and South squads were combined to symbolize the hopes of political discussions toward a unified Korea, or at least a de-escalation of tensions between South Korea and North Korea, which has aggressively ramped up its nuclear program and rhetoric against the United States.

Orser has said he expects Cha to finish around the top 12 this time, and the teenager could use his first Olympic experience as a stepping stone for the next Winter Games in Beijing four years later.

"But it does also show how savvy the North Koreans are".