Tigers traditionally represent the country and the white tiger is considered sacred there, organisers of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics said.
The mascot was named “Soohorang”, a combination of the Korean words for protection and tiger. The mascot’s white colour represents snow and ice.
“It’s a beautiful animal, strongly associated with Korean culture,” said Gunilla Lindberg, Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for the Pyeongchang Games.
“It also symbolises the close link between the Olympic Winter Games and the natural environment.”
An Asiatic black bear wearing a bobble hat and named “Bandabi” was also unveiled as the mascot for the 2018 Paralympic Games.
Both animals feature in Korea’s national foundation mythology and are closely linked to folklore from the peninsula.