A South Korean and North Korean gymnast have shown the world the two nations can live peacefully side-by-side with one selfie.

A South Korean gymnast may have done more for her country in improving relations with North Korea than 10 years of international diplomacy.

Lee Eun-ju of South Korea took a selife with Hong Un-jong from North Korea at the Rio Olympics while holding up the peace sign.

▼ Never underestimate the power of a selfie

The exchange was captured by an Olympic Games photographer and the photo of the two taking a selfie has gone viral on the Internet with many saying that it may become the most iconic image of the 2016 Rio Olympics.

▼ Another popular tweet with photos of the gymnasts

North and South Korea are still at war with a military stand off existing at the demilitarized zone (DMZ) along the 38th parallel north. Tensions have continually risen over recent years with North Korea firing test missiles into the East China Sea – the most recent of which landing just 150 miles west of Akita Prefecture in Japan.

▼ The demilitarized zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea


The image of the Korean selfie was posted by political scientist Ian Bremmer and has been retweeted over 21,000 times. Ian Bremmer posted the photo saying, “Gymnasts from North & South Korea take a selfie together. This is why we do the Olympics.”

Unfortunately, there were many cynical comment replies and some fearing for Hong Un-jong’s safety when she returns home to North Korea. However, there were also some positive replies:

“So great to see this. We are all just people in the end after all.”
“A tribute to world peace love and unity.”
“Hope for the future.”
“A selfie that is inspirational rather than annoying.”
“This is truly great! Why can’t we all just be friends?”

▼ Japanese LINE characters including “Brown” the bear


Interestingly, Brown, Line’s bear character, also appears in the selfie in the form of Lee Eun-ju’s phone case. Though owned by Korean company Naver, Line was developed by a Japanese branch following the Tohoku earthquake, thus rounding out a three-way love triangle between South Korea, North Korea, and Japan.

Hopefully this image is just a sign of goodwill to come!

Sources: Twitter/Ian Bremmer, Huffington Post Japan, BBC News
Images: Flickr/Bryan Dorrough, LINE Homepage