Koreas to carry single flag in Winter Olympics opening


"Our government [.] will work in a way that North Korea's participation in the PyeongChang Olympics does not cause any global controversies over violating sanctions on North Korea", spokesperson Noh Kyu-duk said in a press briefing Thursday.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha (L) speaks with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during a meeting of top diplomats from 16 countries in Vancouver on January 16, 2018, in this photo provided by Seoul's foreign ministry.

He has threatened to rain "fire and fury" on the North, warning Kim he was on a "suicide mission" by developing nuclear missiles.

The Koreas' plan to do so again at next month's Pyeongchang Olympics hasn't generated much enthusiasm among South Koreans, with many conservatives asking why their athletes can not carry their own national flag during the first Winter Olympics on their soil.

The Olympics will take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea, about 50 miles from the demilitarized zone between the North and South.

North Korea has cancelled a visit by a delegation to South Korea to prepare for a trip by an art troupe during next month's Winter Olympics, Seoul's Unification Ministry was quoted as saying by South Korea's Yonhap news agency on Friday (Jan 19). The South Korean head coach will take charge but at least three players from North Korea must be selected in the team.

The IOC let North Korea send some 22 sportsmen, 24 officials and 21 media representatives to PyeongChang. It said the delegation will include a 230-member cheering group, a 30-member taekwondo demonstration team, journalists, athletes and officials.

The federation envisions forming a crew made up of "an experienced pilot and a push athlete from South Korea with two more push athletes from the North".

Getty Images
Getty Images

Despite the logistical challenges posed by North Korea's eleventh-hour agreement to compete in Pyeongchang, the International Olympic Committee is expected to give the proposal a sympathetic hearing when it meets officials from both countries in Lausanne on Saturday.

The two Koreas reached a package of Olympics-related rapprochement deals on Wednesday, including marching together at the opening ceremony and fielding their first joint Olympic team, in women's ice hockey.

South Korean news service News 1 reported the team is to arrive by land via the Gyeongui Line rail that connects North and South.

Under Kim Jong Un, North Korea has written the possession of nuclear weapons into its constitution.

A North Korean soldier looks south through a pair of binoculars.

It said proposed its Olympic delegation travel to south across the heavily fortified land border.

"If South and North Korea form one team and compete in the games, that will be an everlasting historic event, which I think will move our people and people around the world", South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Wednesday.

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