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What you should know about Pyeongchang

Nude marathons, name changes and, no, it's not in North Korea.
South korea pyeongchang 2011 07 07Enlarge
South Koreans celebrate being selected as 2018 Winter Olympic host city at Alpensia Resort on July 7, 2011 in Pyeongchang. (Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

If upon hearing that the Winter Olympics 2018 were be held in Pyeongchang, you thought for a minute that was North Korea, you're not alone.

Pyeongchang used to be Pyongchang — just a few letters off from Pyongyang, you'll note — but they threw in the exta "e" to avoid confusion in 2014.

(Read more: Pyeongchang's Olympic makeover)

From politics to cuisine, here are some other highlights from The New Republic's Pyeongchang primer:

  • Pyeongchang is located in Gangwon province, which is divided between the North and South. Gangwon governor Kim Jin Sun said that holding the Olympics there would help promote peace on the Korean Peninsula.
  • Every year, during the Daegwallyeong Snow Flower Festival, Pyeongchang holds a nude marathon.
  • During the Korean War, American troops reportedly shelled the area heavily.