Koreas to march underneath single 'united' flag in Olympic Video games

Remigio Civitarese
Gennaio 20, 2018

After three high-level meetings along their border in little over a week, North and South Korea have proposed forming a joint women's ice hockey team and allowing their athletes to march together under one flag at next month's games in South Korea.

After its latest intercontinental missile test on November 29 previous year, North Korea claimed to have achieved full nuclear capability.

South Korean sports ministry spokesman Hwang Seong Un said the two Koreas have been discussing the make-up of a unified women's hockey team since a year ago when the North's representative, Chang Ung, visited along with his country's taekwondo demonstration team.

According to a joint statement the two countries will form a joint team in women's hockey and train together at the North Korean ski resort Masikrjong. The IOC said recently it has "kept the door open" for North Korea to take part in the games.

North Korea denounced US President Donald Trump's tweeted message that he has a bigger nuclear button than its leader Kim Jong-Un as the "spasm of a lunatic" and the "bark of a rabid dog".

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It was unclear whether the cancellation cast any doubt over the preparations for the North's participation in next months Winter Olympics in South Korea's Pyeongchang, an apparent diplomatic breakthrough after months of high tension over the North's nuclear and missile programme.

"We hope that this experience gives North Korea and its athletes a small taste of freedom, and that rubs off and it's something that spreads and impacts in these negotiations and in these conversations", spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

This weekend the two nations will meet with the International Olympic Committee for final approval of their Olympic plans. No country will benefit from conflict or even resumption of tense relations between North Korea and the South and its allies. In a 2017 study by the Korean Institute of National Unification, 57.8 percent of respondents said that unification was necessary, representing a drop of 11.5 percent from 2014. One of the newspapers reported on Sunday that American troops are actively carrying out joint military training exercise with their counterparts from South Korea in preparing towards possible armed conflict with Pyongyang.

A North Korean delegation is planning to visit the South next week to look over the facilities at the Games venues. Satellite images show that North Korea are gearing up for another massive military parade that will be held on February 8, 2018.

For the forthcoming winter games, civic organizations, including Incheon Peace & Welfare Network (IPWN), an Incheon City advocacy group, will create its own cheering squad based on experience gained during the Incheon Asian Games.

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