International

North and South Korea to march under unified flag at Winter Olympics

North and South Korea plan to march under a united flag at the 2018 Winter Olympics opening ceremonies and compete together on their first joint Olympic team — a diplomatic breakthrough that suggests a thaw in tensions between the two nations.

The two countries agreed to the display of unity on Wednesday after high-level talks at the South border village of Panmunjom.

The South Korea Unification Ministry said the two countries will also form a joint women’s ice hockey team — the first time they have contributed athletes to the same team at the Olympics.

North Korea and South Korea plan to march under the Korean Unification flag, which displays the entire Korean peninsula in blue against a white backdrop. That’s rare, but not unprecedented. The two countries first displayed the flag at the 1991 World Table Tennis Championships and most recently at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Italy.

North Korea and South Korean skiers will also train together at a resort in North Korea before the games start on February 9 in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

In addition to athletes, North Korea is expected to send hundreds of cheerleaders and orchestral musicians for the ceremonies.

But North Korea’s participation in the games isn’t certain. It missed the registration deadlines, and now it is up to the International Olympics Committee to approve the proposal.


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