The Quiet Diplomacy to Save the Olympics in a Nuclear Standoff

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BEIJING — In late December, a group of teenagers from North Korea traveled to the Chinese city of Kunming to play in an obscure under-15 soccer tournament.

On the field, under a wintry sun, they faced teams from China and South Korea.

Off the field, there was an unusual spectator: Choi Moon-soon, the governor of the province in South Korea hosting the Winter Olympics.

Ego 4dMr. Choi had flown more than 1,000 miles to meet the North Korean officials accompanying the young players — and to make the case for North Korea to attend the Olympics.

“We were looking…

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