Is there a pair team training anywhere?
Couple of thoughts about Olympic politics, which I follow very closely.
Bottom line, anyone who thinks Olympic qualification is about being 'fair' to the 'best in the world,' that's obviously not true. The Olympics (not just figure skating!) has always tried to open spots to smaller countries/federations. Many smaller countries/federations wouldn't even be in the Olympics if it was all about people who had the best scores or World placements. If that were the case, then Russia would send 9 ladies skaters in 2018! A bit part of the Olympics is creating a world community of athletes and frankly, that means that some great athletes from powerful countries don't get to go, in place of weaker skaters from smaller countries/federations.
To me, I see no problem with allowing these spots assuming the competitors meet the minimum TES.
If you review the Winter Olympics for the last 20 years or so, for the most part they've been strong figure skating nations since 1998 (Japan, US, Italy, Canada, Russia). Going forward, we may start to see some Olympics in less powerful skating nations. Look at the bidders for 2022 - Norway, Poland, Kazakhstan, China, and Ukraine (of course Ukraine in all likelihood will not make the shortlist this summer due to their political situation). Of those, only China could really be said to be a current power in figure skating. And they have a weakness in Ice Dance. Having the lure of guaranteed hosts spots, for example, could encourage Kazakhstan (or whoever) to improve their programs in time for 2022 to get people to the minimum TES...
The best solution is simply to add #21 and #25 if the Koreans don't qualify.
Failing that... it's a tough call, but if it comes down to the wire, I'll still let the Koreans have their spot. It's not good for the athletes, but at the end of the day, you gotta keep the lights on; you gotta draw spectators. It'll suck for whoever is left out, but it's a reasonable perk for the host nation. Unfair, maybe, but not unreasonable. I don't like it in principle but this seems like the practical thing to do. Hosting the Olympics is costly, costly stuff--just ask how it turned out for Montreal.
However, I understand why some people are against the rule... it's not because they're anti-Korean. The problem is that the rule has barely been evoked in the past, so it's relatively harmless. Whereas now, it could take away a spot from, say, an Australian skater who earned it.
Can we send some kind of ultimatum to Korea? "We'll give you your darn spots, but you must build some proper rinks and take care of your skaters!!"
The dance team you mentioned, Min/Koleto, was the only senior team at the Korean national. Koleto had switched to ice dance just recently. I'd rather say they had a decent start as a dance team.
Korea has another dance couple, Kim/Minov, who went to Junior Worlds and got 6th. This team skipped the Korean national. Their score at the Junior Worlds was 133.35.
At Junior Worlds, Kim/Minov received Level 4 and Level 3 (respectively) for their Quickstep Patterns. At Four Continents, Min/Koleto received Level 4 and Level 3 on their Finnstep, bested only by Hubble/Donahue, who received 4 and 4 (and went on to win the whole event).
BOTH teams in Short and Free completed all Level 4 Lifts, and Level 4 Spin. Min/Koleto seemed to have had a few Twizzle issues and settled for Level 3 (though they completed Level 4 Twizzles at most other competitions last season that I was able to look up. Nerves?). Otherwise, the only notable difference between the two teams is Footwork Levels and PCS.
I think with 4 years of exposure and experience, South Korea will have a strong dance team for 2018, regardless of the means it takes to qualify.