Joint Korea team to compete at Asian Games

North and South Korea will field joint teams in several sports at this year’s Asian Games in Indonesia, building on the collaboration at the Pyeongchang winter Olympic Games earlier this year.

The organisers of the Asian Games, which will take place in Jakarta and Palembang and run from August 18 to September 2, today (Thursday) confirmed that North and South Korea will have joint teams in the canoeing, rowing and women’s basketball competitions.

The National Olympic Committees of North and South Korea finalised the details with the Olympic Council of Asia’s director of international and NOC relations, Vinod Kumar Tiwari.

Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin, deputy chairman of the Indonesia Asian Games Organising Committee, said the meeting was “very enthusiastic, based on the feelings of togetherness of the two Korean representatives”, according to the Reuters news agency.

“The conclusion of the meeting was for the reunification of the two Koreas in the Asian Games (and) increased unification in sports namely basketball, canoeing, and rowing,” Sjamsoeddin told a news conference. “For the opening ceremony together, God willing, (the joint team) will be called Korea. This is unification. It’s good if they join together.”

The South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism first announced that an agreement in principle had been reached on June 18. The initial deal was agreed during a meeting at Peace House in the truce village of Panmunjom, where officials from North and South Korea discussed ways to expand sports exchanges.

North and South Korean athletes also walked under a symbolic unified flag at the opening ceremony (pictured)  of the 2018 winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and fielded a joint women’s ice hockey team at the Games.