Winter Olympics: South Korea reportedly asks North Korea to join its hockey team
Although the nations are still at war, South Korea is looking to join forces with its neighbor on the ice
South Korea is reportedly considering joining its women's hockey team with North Korea after talks between the two nations this week led to the announcement that . The two countries are still at war, but are engaged in talks for the first time in years. The South Korean vice-minister for tradition, sports activities and tourism is the one that had the idea.
North Korean officials have confirmed that the offer was made, per The Independent, but a resolution has not yet been reached. In addition, South Korea offered to enter the Olympics with North Korea under a united flag, although that is also unresolved as of now.
South Korea had been campaigning for its infamous peninsula partner to attend the Winter Olympics in an apparent effort to reconcile differences, or at least calm concerns regarding the North's international disputes over missile launches and nuclear weapons. At this week's meetings between the two sovereign states, per Reuters, "Seoul proposed inter-Korean military discussions to reduce tensions" and "said it was prepared to lift some sanctions temporarily to facilitate" North Korea's visit to PyeongChang.
As part of the talks, which CBS News said lasted more than three hours, South Korea also suggested that athletes from both states march alongside each other at the PyeongChang opening ceremony. A unified march has not occurred with both North and South Korea since China's Asian Winter Games in 2007, Reuters' Josh Smith and Christine Kim noted, although it remains to be seen just what North Korea's planned participation means for the rest of the Olympics.
The games will begin on Feb. 9, and will reach until Feb. 25. The opening ceremony will be on Feb. 9 at 6 a.m. ET.
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Johannson, 53, had been tasked with assembling the United States' men's ice hockey team