North and South Korea will carry single flag at Winter Olympics

Jan 19, 2018, 02:44
North and South Korea will carry single flag at Winter Olympics

It was the most dramatic gesture of reconciliation between them in a decade.

Seoul's chief delegate to the ongoing working-level talks with North Korea, Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung, insisted at a press briefing Wednesday night that showing unity through a joint march and hockey team "is very meaningful". Pyongyang has carried out nuclear and missiles tests in defiance of United Nations and other sanctions.

They also agreed to field a joint women's ice hockey team for the 2018 Winter Games, which are hosted by South Korea in Pyeongchang.

South Korea also wants the IOC to allow the hockey team's 23-player Olympic roster to be expanded so that several North Korean players can be added without removing any of the South Korean players. In addition, North Korea will also be sending a group of 230 supporters to cheer for both countries at the games. Mr. Kim has called Mr. Trump a lunatic. "Investing in nuclear weapons will lead only to more sanctions and to perpetual instability on the peninsula".

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Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, speaking on Tuesday in the West African state of Sao Tome, said everyone should cherish the present easing of tension on the Korean peninsula. The president of the General Assembly, Miroslav Lajcak of Slovakia, said on Twitter: "Heartened by reports that Koreans from DPRK & RoK will march together in @Olympics opening ceremony". It would be the first time athletes from both Koreas have competed together in the same team at an Olympic Games. IOC officials are to meet with sports and government officials from the two Koreas and officials from the Pyeongchang organizing committee in Switzerland on Saturday. The South shut out the North 3-0.

GETTY/EPAWho will represent North Korea at the Winter Olympics?

The two Koreas have previously sent joint teams to major global sports events twice, both in 1991.

The Pyeongchang Winter Olympics will be the first time in 11 years that the Unification flag will be used at an official sporting event. The North earlier said it would send a 140-member art troupe.

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After the two sides met on Wednesday, it was announced that the rival countries would march together at the opening ceremony under a common flag.

According to Yonhap news agency, Murray told reporters on Tuesday that adding players so close to the Games "is a little bit unsafe just for team chemistry because the girls have been together for so long".

If a joint hockey squad is realized, it would be the Koreas' first unified team in an Olympics.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Wednesday the United States is getting evidence that global sanctions are "really starting to hurt" North Korea, even as he accused Russian Federation of not implementing all of the measures.

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The Russian Foreign Ministry said top diplomats from Russia and China had not been invited to the meeting, which was made up of countries that backed South Korea during the 1950-53 Korea War, and that the events were damaging the authority of the UN.

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