Joint Korean Women’s Hockey Team Competes for First Time in Olympic History

A combined Korean women’s hockey team took to the ice Saturday for the first time in Olympic history.

The team squared off against Switzerland in a preliminary match before a sell-out crowd at the Winter Olympics games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where political overtones are most prevalent.

North Korean leader Kim Jung Un’s powerful sister, Kim Yo Jong, attended the match – a sign the games have quickly thawed relations between the two Koreas – which are still technically at war. She, along with North Korea’s ceremonial head of state, Kim Yong Nam, watched the game with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, according to Moon’s office.

The two Koreas marched as one at Friday’s opening ceremony, which also was attended by Kim Yo Jong, who sat closely behind U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.

Kim Yo Jong and Kim Yong Nam have invited President Moon to visit Pyongyang for inter-Korean talks. If Moon accepts, it would be the third round of such talks since their division in 1945.

Earlier this week, the U.S. announced plans to impose its most stringent sanctions yet against North Korea, which held a large military parade featuring intercontinental ballistic missiles just one day before the games began.

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