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The Briefs: Koreas unite for Olympics


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On Jan. 9, North and South Korea agreed to march into the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, under a unified Korean flag. In addition, the two Koreas agreed to work together and create a joint women’s ice hockey team, with 12 North Korean athletes joining the 23 South Koreans already on the team.

The agreement came after a series of talks between the two governments in the village of Panmunjom, the “peace village” within the Korean Demilitarized Zone where talks can take place. Prior to this event, there had not been talks between the two nations for two years.

On Jan. 20, the International Olympic Committee officially announced that the two nations would march as one and field a joint hockey team, and also announced the opening of spots in some sports for North Korean athletes. In addition to the dozen hockey players, two speed-skaters, a figure skating pair and six skiers competing in two disciplines will participate in the games.

With the games being held in South Korea, athletic cooperation between the two countries was a surprise to much of the world. Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, told BBC that “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.”

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The Briefs: Koreas unite for Olympics