North and South Korea to march under one flag at 2018 Winter Olympics

Claire Strucko, Copy Editor

South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon, left, passes an Olympic torch to torch bearer, South Korean figure skater You Young, at Incheon Bridge in Incheon, South Korea, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. The Olympic flame arrived in South Korea on Wednesday where it will be passed throughout the country by thousands of torchbearers on a 100-day journey to the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

Officials from North and South Korea met Wednesday for a third round of talks and announced both countries will march under the Korean Unification Flag at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Athletes from the rival Koreas paraded together behind a single flag for the first time at the opening ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Olympics, but after years of broken communication, Wednesday’s announcement of the unification is the latest breakthrough between the two Koreas.

Baik Tae-Hyun, a spokesman for South Korea’s Unification Ministry, said Monday that the two sides were in the process of coordinating the creation of an inter-Korean women’s ice hockey team made-up of players from both nations. (CNN)

North Korea plans to send 230 supporters to Pyeongchang to cheer on their athletes. The International Olympics Committee (IOC) needs to approve the countries’ agreements and those that affect competition, such as the joint hockey team, could be more complicated than the ceremonial proposals.

Despite doubts from South Korean conservatives, South Korea’s government says it hopes the Olympics will provide the Koreas with a chance to improve the frosty relations between them.

The 2018 Winter Olympics will be held on February 9th through February 25th in Pyeongchang, South Korea.