Koreas hold joint training session for Olympics
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
On Sunday, femaleplayers from and joined one another for a training session before the upcoming Winter Olympics. Players from the two Koreas are to compete together as a united team for the events hosted in , South Korea, which are scheduled to start on February 9; Seoul's Unification Ministry said. The cross-border gesture is part of diplomatic efforts to ease tensions on the divided and the team was approved by the .
Theselected Pyeongchang in 2011 to host the event, marking South Korea's first opportunity since the in . The earlier event was marred by violence as North Korea had several months prior, killing over 100 and boycotted the event. Inter-Korean relations have changed considerably in the ensuing thirty years, including the two sending unified teams for table tennis and youth football in other non-Olympic competitions.
The announcement that the two countries would compete together was a stated goal of South Korean President. Last year, he announced the proposal and the two nations went into discussion this month. After two weeks, they made the announcement to field a consolidated 35-strong team of ice hockey players and have joint skiing exercises with both team coaches involved.
According to Yonhap News Agency estimates, about 80% of South Koreans support dialogue, but the move to have a joint team has been controversial. Over 10,000 South Korean citizens sent a petition to South Korean President Moon opposing the union and a group of North Koreanheld a protest at the South Korean on January 24, tearing apart photos of the North Korean leader, . Public support for eventual reunification of the Korean peninsula has waned in recent years, with the younger generation more skeptical of the possibility.
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- Eric Talmadge of the AP. "Koreas try out Olympic diplomacy at North Korean ski resort" — , January 28, 2018
- Kim Tong-Hyung for the AP. "Activists rip Kim Jong Un's photo in Olympic protest" — , January 23, 2018
- Koreas to form unified ice hockey team, march together in Olympics" — , January 17, 2018 reporting. "
- Poll: Most South Koreans support inter-Korean dialogue" — , June 22, 2017. "
- Ben Birnbaum. "Generation Why" — , July 28, 2011