February 9, 2018 | The Hill

How Olympic ‘diplomacy’ normalizes North Korea

Instead of generating goodwill, North Korea’s participation in the Winter Olympics has demonstrated how rapidly diplomatic engagement can degenerate into a propaganda exercise that benefits only Kim Jong Un.

In its annual New Year’s address, only a month before the Pyeongchang games were set to begin, Pyongyang suddenly indicated that it was ready to participate. South Korean President Moon Jae-in rushed to accommodate the request, even agreeing to delay joint military exercises with the United States to ensure a deal. Moon welcomed the North Koreans without securing any concessions from the North to rein in its nuclear program or rampant human rights violations.

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Anthony Ruggiero, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, was the nonproliferation advisor to the U.S. delegation to the 2005 rounds of the Six-Party Talks and spent more than 17 years in the U.S. government. Follow him on Twitter @_ARuggiero.

Mathew Ha is a research associate at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. Follow him on Twitter @Matjunsuk.

Follow FDD on Twitter @FDD. FDD is a Washington-based, nonpartisan research institute focusing on national security and foreign policy.