UNF professor and former Korean broadcaster speaks on an unified Korea

Logan Ansteatt


The 2018 Winter Olympics has the world’s attention. Not only do the athletes draw a crowd, but the unprecedented political implications of a unified Korean team have political analysts and citizens globally invested.

The world saw a unified Korea introduced at the opening ceremony, and despite an 8-0 loss the next day, unified Korean women’s hockey team won the eyes and hope of the world for peace.

UNF communication Professor Siho Nam views the talks leading up to the Pyeongchang Olympics as a catalyst for holistically positive change in the region. Nam previously worked in broadcast in Korea, but he focused on entertainment over anything political.

“Because of recent escalating tensions between Kim Jong Un and our president, Trump, I keep getting questions from people if my family is doing fine in South Korea,” Nam said.

Despite some hiccups, Nam says his outlook on the renewed conversation between North and South Korean leaders, even just concerning a unified hockey team and the opening ceremony, is a positive one overall.

“Anything that can possibly help bring about peace, reconciliation between South and North, I see that as a really positive opportunity,” Nam said.

Some political analysts believe North Korea’s rebound of communication is a result of tougher sanctions that the country could be planning to reach out a hand for help or re-establish trade with the rest of the world.

Whatever the aim of North Korea, Nam recognizes the power of North Korean athletes’ exposure to South Korean culture. Despite heavy state media censorship, the North Korean people will receive a broadcast that exposes them to the  world outside of their country, at least a little more.

As for whether he’ll be tuning in for this year’s Olympic games, Nam says: “The problem is I have to stay up very late, or wake up extremely early in the morning, that’s my only problem. But for sure, I’ll be watching the Olympic games.”

For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].