Moon Jae-in & Kim Yo Jong’s Handshake: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

kim yo jong moon jae in


South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s sister, Kim Yo-Jong, shook hands during the 2018 Winter Olympics ceremony in PyeongChang. The handshake was seen as a symbolic moment for two countries technically still at war.

There were 30,000 people in the stadium for the Opening Ceremony Friday night, including a North Korean cheerleading squad and thousands of Korean dancers in a performance meant to highlight the theme of unity.

The last time South Korea hosted the Olympics, in summer 1988,North Korea carried out a terrorist attack, killing 115 people on a passenger plane. Moon Jae-in has expressed desire for dialogue with North Korea and was pleased that the country sent a delegation. The handshake and any subsequent talks could be a move toward peace.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. They Shook Hands During the Opening Ceremony, a Historic and Symbolic Moment

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, who is part of the country’s Olympic delegation to South Korea, shook hands with South Korea President Moon Jae-in in a symbolic handshake. The handshake, which took place near the beginning of the Olympics Opening Ceremony in PyeongChang Olympic Stadium, comes during tension between the two countries, but could be a sign of unity.

Correction: A previous version of this post incorrectly stated that South Korea hosted the summer Olympics in 1998. The year was 1988, not 1998.