Koreas hold joint training session for Olympics
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
On Sunday, female ice hockey players from North and South Korea 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 Korean Peninsula and the team was approved by the .
The International Olympic Committee selected Pyeongchang in 2011 to host the event, marking South Korea's first opportunity since the Seoul. 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.in
The announcement that the two countries would compete together was a stated goal of South Korean President Moon Jae-in. 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 Korean Kim Jong-un. Public support for eventual reunification of the Korean peninsula has waned in recent years, with the younger generation more skeptical of the possibility.held a protest at the South Korean on January 24, tearing apart photos of the North Korean leader,
- Alina Polianskaya. "North and South Korean hockey players hold first joint training session ahead of Winter Olympics" — , January 28, 2018
- 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