S Korea Proposes Joint March, Hockey Team With North at Olympics

South Korea also proposed a meeting with North Korea, next week, to discuss details of its participation.

Published
Sports
2 min read
 South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon (L), shakes hands with the head of North Korean delegation Ri Son Gwon before their meeting at the Panmunjom, on 9 January.
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In a surprising move, South Korea, on Friday, 12 January, said it has proposed a meeting with North Korea, next week, to discuss details of its participation in next month's Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in the South.

The South's Unification Ministry said it suggested holding the meeting on Monday at the border village of Panmunjom with a delegation of three South Korean officials.

South Korea has also proposed marching together with North Korea at the Winter Olympics opening ceremony and also forming a joint women's ice hockey team, a government minister said on Friday.

The proposal was made during Tuesday's inter-Korean talks, where North Korea confirmed it would attend the Pyeongchang Olympics following months of tensions over its nuclear weapons programme.

According to Yonhap news agency, South Korea's vice-sports minister Roh Tae- Kang said:

We made various proposals including the fielding of a joint women’s ice hockey team and a joint march into the Olympic stadium.

The proposals were not made public at the time.

A joint march at the opening ceremony would be a stunning statement for the "Peace Olympics", which will open about 50 miles (80 kilometres) from the Korean border on 9 February.

The two Koreas, who are still technically at war, marched together at the opening ceremonies of the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the 2004 Athens Games and the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin.

North Korea boycotted the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul, meaning Pyeongchang will be the first Olympics they have attended in the South.

Earlier this week, the two Koreas held their first talks in about two years at the border village. They agreed to hold military talks and restore a military hotline.

The North also agreed to send a large delegation of officials, athletes, cheerleaders, journalists and others to the Olympics in Pyeongchang.

The accords were widely viewed as a positive step following a year of escalating tension over North Korea's rapidly advancing nuclear and missile programs.

(With inputs from PTI and AP.)

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