North and South Korea to march together, field unified ice hockey team in Pyeongchang
North and South Korea will march together at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics after an agreement was reached for the former to send athletes to the Pyeongchang 2018 Games.
Meetings between representatives from the two neighbouring nations, the International Olympic Committee and organisers of the upcoming Games reached a positive resolution on Saturday, with an agreement signed by all four parties.
North Korean athletes have been allocated places in various skating and skiing events. In addition, the IOC confirmed they will allow a unified women's ice hockey team - featuring players from North and South Korea - to participate, in a first for the Olympics.
The unified team will compete as Korea and be represented by the Korean unification flag.
Accreditations for 22 athletes, 24 officials and 21 media representatives from North Korea have been granted, with IOC president Thomas Bach hailing the resolution as a source of hope amid recent rising tensions on the Korean peninsula.
"The Olympic spirit is about respect, dialogue and understanding," said Bach.
"The Olympic Winter Games Pyeongchang 2018 are hopefully opening the door to a brighter future on the Korean peninsula, and inviting the world to join in a celebration of hope.
"The Olympic Games show us what the world could look like, if we were all guided by the Olympic spirit of respect and understanding. This is the Olympic message that will go from Pyeongchang to the world."
For the first time in @Olympics history the two Korean teams will unite to compete as one team in a sport. The unified women's ice hockey team will be represented by the Korean unification flag and will compete as Korea. @PyeongChang2018pic.twitter.com/EjoeCcbihL-- IOC MEDIA (@iocmedia) January 20, 2018