North Korea and South Korea to Form Their First Ever Joint Olympic Team and March Together at Opening Ceremonies

PANMUNJOM, SOUTH KOREA - JANUARY 17: In this handout image provided by the South Korean Unification Ministry, South Korean Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-Sung, (R) shakes hands with the head of North Korean delegation Jon Jong-Su (L) after their meeting on January 17, 2018 in Panmunjom, South Korea. South and North Korea agreed to field a joint women's ice hockey team for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics and march together under a 'unified Korea' flag at the opening ceremony. (Photo by South Korean Unification Ministry via Getty Images)

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North Korea may not be getting along very well with the United States right now, but their diplomatic relationship with South Korea is on the upswing.

Last week North Korea announced it will be sending athletes to the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

On Wednesday South Korea’s Unification Ministry announced that the two rival countries have reached an agreement to march together under the Korean Unification Flag at the opening ceremonies. In addition, they have also agreed to field a single women’s ice hockey team made up of players from both countries.

South Korea and North Korea have marched together under the Unification Flag before. It was used at the 2000 and 2004 Summer Olympics, and then again at the 2006 Winter Olympics. However, on each of those occasions, while the teams marched together, they still competed separately.

The big surprise here is the agreement to field one women’s hockey team , which came during talks at the border village of Panmunjom.

The proposal to field a joint hockey team and march in unison still has to be approved by the International Olympic Committee. Representatives from the South and the North will meet with IOC officials in Switzerland this weekend to make their case.

Given the cultural and diplomatic implications of this agreement, the IOC would be crazy to deny the request.

Stay tuned.

Hat Tip – [AP]

Tags: 2018 Winter Olympics, north korea, Olympics, south korea, Winter Olympics,