Koreas pucker up for Olympics with same women's hockey team

Updated: Jan 18, 2018, 14:05 IST | Agencies

Countries announce united team, say athletes from their nations will make joint entrance at next month's Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang carrying pro-unification flag

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has refused to give up development of nuclear missiles. Pic/AFP
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has refused to give up development of nuclear missiles. Pic/AFP

The two Koreas yesterday agreed to form a united women's hockey team for next month's Winter Olympics in the South, the latest in a flurry of cross-border talks. Following a working-level meeting held at the truce village of Panmunjom, the two sides also announced that their athletes would make a joint entrance carrying a pro-unification flag, according to Yonhap news agency.

A North Korean delegation will visit the South next week to review the facilities at the Games venue. South Korea also agreed to send its athletes to the North's Masikryong ski resort for training ahead of the Pyeongchang Olympics that run through February 9 to 25.

Pyongyang agreed last week to send athletes, high-level officials, performers and others to the Pyeongchang Games. Three officials from each side took part in the discussions and the results will be discussed by both Koreas with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Saturday. The IOC must approve extra Olympic slots for the North's athletes after they failed to qualify or missed deadlines to register.

 

Little cheer for Japan
Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said the world should not be naive about North Korea's "charm offensive" over the Olympics. "It is not the time to ease pressure, or to reward North Korea," Kono said, adding, "The fact that North Korea is engaging in dialogue could be interpreted as proof that the sanctions are working." Meanwhile, in Vancouver, 20 nations agreed on Tuesday to consider tougher sanctions to press North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons

230 No. of people in North's cheering squad

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