Tags: south korea | north norea | march | one flag | winter olympics

South Korea, North Korea Agree to March Together Under One Flag as Winter Olympics Open

South Korea, North Korea Agree to March Together Under One Flag as Winter Olympics Open

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are seen on a sign during a rally for a peaceful Winter Olympics in Seoul. (Lee Jin-man/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 17 January 2018 12:55 PM

South Korea and North Korea will march together at the Winter Olympics opening ceremony, under one flag, one of several breakthroughs announced on Wednesday after diplomatic negotiations between the two countries.

The countries will march under a unified flag, which features a blue silhouette of the Korean peninsula and islands, CNN reported. The two teams walked under the same unity flag at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, the broadcaster noted.

The International Olympics Committee (IOC) would still need to approve the countries' agreements, and those that affect competition like a joint hockey team, which could be more complicated than the ceremonial proposals, CNN noted.

Sky News reported that North Korea will begin sending a 550-member delegation to the South Korean games on Jan. 25, including 230 cheerleaders, 140 artists, and 30 taekwondo athletes for a demonstration.

A 140-piece orchestra from North Korea will perform in the country during the Olympics as well, per Sky News.

Sky News pointed out that North and South Korea are still technically at war with each other, with a truce ending hostilities between the two countries after the 1950-53 conflict.

Japan has warned that the world should not let their guard down with regards to North Korea because of the agreement and the North's "charm offensive," Sky News said.

"It is not the time to ease pressure or to reward North Korea," Japan foreign minister Taro Kono said. "The fact that North Korea is engaging in dialogue could be interpreted as proof that the sanctions are working."

North Korea is still facing stinging sanctions from the United Nations for refusing to give up developing its nuclear and ballistic missiles programs, according to Reuters. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and United States President Donald Trump have exchanged threats in past comments.

Some in South Korea are pushing back against the idea of a unified team, highlighted by more than 100 petitions posted per week to the presidential Blue House's website opposing the idea, Reuters said.

South Korea President Moon Jae-in told hockey players during a visit to a training center that he saw a joint team "good opportunity," Reuters said.

"I don't know if it will happen, but a joint team will be a good opportunity for ice hockey to shed its sorrow as a less-preferred sport as many Koreans will take interest," Moon said.

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South Korea and North Korea will march together at the Winter Olympics opening ceremony, under one flag, one of several breakthroughs announced on Wednesday after diplomatic negotiations between the two countries.
south korea, north norea, march, one flag, winter olympics
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Wednesday, 17 January 2018 12:55 PM
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