Show of solidarity at Asiad for two Koreas

JAKARTA • North and South Korea will field joint teams in six events across three sports at this year's Asian Games in Indonesia, organisers said yesterday, in a further sign of improving relations between the neighbours.

The National Olympic Committees of the two Koreas met with the Olympic Council of Asia's (OCA) director of international and NOC relations, Vinod Kumar Tiwari, to finalise details for their joint participation at the Games in Jakarta and Palembang.

The OCA confirmed the two nations will compete as a unified team in six events, including women's basketball, and men's and women's dragon boat racing, which is one of the canoe disciplines. They will also compete together in three rowing events - lightweight men's four, lightweight men's eight and lightweight women's double sculls.

Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin, deputy chairman of the Indonesia Asian Games Organising Committee, described the meeting as "very enthusiastic, based on the feelings of togetherness of the two Korean representatives".

It was also decided that the joint delegation, represented by 200 athletes, will march together under a unified flag in the opening ceremony for the Aug 18-Sept 2 Games, with 100 from each side.

In February, North and South Korea fielded a combined women's ice hockey team at the Pyeongchang Winter Games and marched together at the opening ceremony.

This comes amid better relations between Pyongyang and Washington. Earlier this month, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump held a summit in Singapore to establish peace on the Korean peninsula.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 29, 2018, with the headline 'Show of solidarity at Asiad for two Koreas'. Print Edition | Subscribe