source : 2012.08.12 The Independent (ボタンクリックで引用記事が開閉)
Even before the opening ceremony two weeks ago, the Games were rocked by a faux pas that led to the North Korean women's football team storming off the Hampden Park pitch after a video introducing their players showed the South Korean flag.
A stiff handshake between table-tennis players from North and South at the start of their match a week later appeared to restore calm between two nations that are still officially at war.
But, on Friday evening, the South Koreans managed to offend another of their near neighbours, when one of their footballers – thought to be Park Jong-Woo – held up a flag proclaiming the remote Dokdo Islands as South Korean territory during their bronze-medal playoff match against Japan.
To most of the millions watching, it appeared an innocent gesture. But it was ill-mannered, to say the least, given that the Japanese themselves also lay claim to the territory, which they call the Takeshima Islands. Tensions were already high after President Lee Myung-bak of South Korea made a surprise visit to the islands last week, prompting the Japanese to recall their ambassador from Seoul and to refer the long-running territorial dispute to the International Court of Justice.
The response in London was the promise of an International Olympic Committee (IOC) investigation and a ban on the offending player turning up to receive his medal. "We have opened an inquiry and have asked the NOC [National Olympic Committee] of the Republic of Korea for an explanation," the IOC said yesterday, after it was confirmed that Fifa, football's governing body, had also opened an investigation.
The only comfort to be gained from the incident was the fact that North Korea, which also lays claim to the islands, has, mercifully, failed to complain. So far.
Commentsays : Juuichi Jigen
In summary, Korean propaganda demonstrated in the Olympics field was a systematic campaign.
- Most of Korean players enjoyed the propaganda by Park Jong-woo together with a smile, and never stop him.
- A man who handed a sign with a political message to a Korean soccer player, Park Jong-woo, was wearing a small chest badge which shows a member of the Korean Association of Athletes or something.
- In addition, Korean President Lee Myung-Bak decided to visit the disputed outcrops in the Sea of Japan just before the match between Japan and Korea.
- Moreover, some Korean newspapers reported that, in an interview soon after the third place match, the Korean captain said that the team had planned a goal celebration with the aim to appeal South Korean sovereignty over the disputed islands.
This was not carried out, but instead they did "banzai" performance after their second goal. An article on the Korea Economic Daily suggests that in Korea the ritual is normally associated with their liberation from the colonial rule.
If so, we have to conclude that the Korean team had a strong intention beforehand to take the opportunity of the Olympic Games and make a one-sided claim. It clearly violates Olympic Charter Chapter 5 which bans political messages.