January 22, 2018 10:53
North and South Korean athletes will march together at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang under a "unification flag" as the traditional folk song "Arirang" is being played instead of their anthems.
North Korea is now sending 22 athletes who will be competing in five events along with 24 coaches and sports officials. An inter-Korean women's ice hockey team will consist of 23 South Korean and 12 North Korean players.
The decisions were announced Saturday after a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland between the International Olympic Committee, the Olympic bodies of the two Koreas and the Pyeongchang organizing committee.
The uniforms will bear the unification flag on the front and a patch that reads "Korea" on the back. However, the South Korean national flag will be hoisted during the opening ceremony as the South’s national anthem is played.
Twelve North Korean players and a coach will join the South Korean women's ice hockey team. At least three North Korean players will be included in the 22-strong roster of each match, though how much play time they will get is up to the South Korean coach.
The only two North Koreans who have officially qualified for the Olympics are a figure-skating pair, but there will also be two speed skaters, three cross-country skiers and three alpine skiers.
Some 21 reporters for the state media will be also dispatched.
A Cheong Wa Dae official said the decisions are "an important stepping stone in achieving the Olympic goal of peace."
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