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North, South Korea to march together in Olympics opening ceremony

By Elizabeth Shim
North, South Korea to march together in Olympics opening ceremony
North and South Korea teams are to march together under the unified flag at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. File Photo by Yonhap

Jan. 17 (UPI) -- South and North Korea agreed to march together under a unified flag during the opening ceremony for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

They also agreed to create a single women's hockey team to compete during the games, Yonhap reported.

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Deputy-level ministers attended the dialogue on Wednesday at Panmunjom's House of Peace, where the two sides have been convening for breakthrough talks on the Olympics since early January.

The women's hockey team is quickly becoming a symbol of reconciliation between the two Koreas.

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On Wednesday, Seoul and Pyongyang agreed the hockey players should train together at Masikryong Ski Resort in North Korea, one of Kim Jong Un's earliest projects.

The ski resort is reportedly mostly empty, and the North Koreans are allowing a South Korean team of inspectors to check the facilities before training begins for the two teams.

Delegates are also avoiding the use of a sea route to send the team to Pyeongchang.

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

"North Korea's People's Olympic Committee's representatives, athletes, cheerleading squad and taekwondo demonstration team and press corps will use a land route," the delegates of North and South said in statement.

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The athletes are to arrive on Feb. 1, and the other groups, including North Korean reporters, are to travel across the border Feb. 7.

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It is unclear whether North Korea's second-most powerful politician, Choe Ryong Hae, would be attending the games.

Choe, who traveled to Rio in 2016 with North Korean Olympians, is under South Korean financial sanctions.

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