Monday, 21 January, 2019

North and South Korea Under One Flag at the Olympic Games

A South Korean army soldier stands guard behind North and South Korea Under One Flag at the Olympic Games
Melinda Barton | 21 January, 2018, 02:53

"We will concentrate our diplomatic capability on inducing the North and the US enter dialogue process together and endeavor to make a virtuous circle between North-South dialogue and talks between the North and the US", South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs told NK News.

It has offered a respite from a months-long standoff over the North's missile and nuclear programmes, which it conducts in defiance of United Nations sanctions.

He has threatened to rain "fire and fury" on the North, warning Kim he was on a "suicide mission" by developing nuclear missiles.

It will be part of a North Korean Olympic delegation that will also include athletes, officials, state media reporters, a cheering group and a taekwondo demonstration team.

South and North Korea agreed to march together under a unified flag during the opening ceremony for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

While the overall number of North Korean athletes has yet to be decided, the existing South Korean ice hockey squad of 22 players will have to be expanded, possibly to 35, to accommodate them - an arrangement criticised by their Canadian coach, Sarah Murray.

However, North Korea and South Korea will still discuss matters concerning next month's Pyeongchang Winter Olympics via the hotline between the two Koreas throughout the weekend, and the issue of the delegation's sudden change in schedule could be discussed, the official added.

Diplomats have reportedly been invited to attend festivities in Pyongyang to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the North's regular army on February 8, a day before the Winter Olympics' opening ceremony.

The North has said it will send a 550-member delegation to the Games, as well as 230 cheerleaders to back athletes from both Koreas.

Turnbull said the visit to the Narashino training camp was a reminder of the big threats in the region, "terrorism on the one hand, and, of course, the reckless regime in North Korea on the other". Seoul is attempting to check with North Korean officials through the newly activated hotline, which remained dormant for more than two years, about the development.

The IOC revealed that more than 80 percent of the athletes in this down-sized pool did not compete at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014, which shows that this is a new generation of Russian athletes.

Apart from the first-ever joint hockey team with Seoul, the North will also compete in skating and skiing.

"If South and North Korea form one team and compete in the games, that will be an everlasting historic event, which I think will move our people and people around the world", South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Wednesday.