North, South Korea to March Under United Flag in Winter Olympics

North and South Korea will form a joint women’s ice hockey team to compete in the upcoming winter Olympic games and will march under a united flag during the opening ceremony, the two countries announced Wednesday.

The decision — what Yonhap news agency called “an unprecedented breakthrough” — was the result of a proposal by the South a week earlier to form the joint team, after the North agreed to make its first appearance in the Olympic games in the South. North Korea boycotted the last Olympics held in the South in 1988.

The upcoming winter Olympic Games will be held February 9-25 in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The rival nations have formed joint sports teams only twice before — both times in 1991 — when they participated together in a youth soccer tournament and a table-tennis championship. Previous negotiating sessions designed to send a joint team to the Olympics were not successful.

The International Olympic committee is slated to meet on January 20 at its Switzerland headquarters to discuss the details of the joint team as well as the North’s participation in the Games.

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