Date of Graduation

Spring 5-15-2020

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Asia Pacific Studies (MAPS)


College of Arts and Sciences


Asia Pacific Studies

First Advisor

Brian Dempster


Since their division, North and South Korea have fluctuated between a peaceful and chaotic relationship. This project explores the role of athletics within inter-Korean relations, using a multidimensional conceptual framework. In particular, this research examines the significant role sports play within each country’s political affairs, how this phenomenon has evolved, and the impact of sports on how South Koreans view their neighbors and the idea of reunification. Through in-depth historical and quantitative analysis, we see that sports can be understood as a political tool that has matured over time. Initially emerging as a means to gauge the status of affiliation between North and South Korea, sports has since evolved into a medium which promotes diplomacy while reflecting public perception. The results of this project not only allow audiences to comprehend inter-Korean relations through a new lens but provides vital context for the upcoming 2021 and 2032 Olympic Games.