January 17, 2018 9:08 am
Updated: January 25, 2018 1:06 pm

North, South Korea to march together under unified flag for 2018 Winter Olympics opening ceremony

WATCH ABOVE: North Korean hockey team meets South Korean teammates ahead of Pyeongchang Olympics


North and South Korea will march together under a unified Korean flag for the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang next month.

South Korea announced Wednesday the two rivals will appear side-by-side at the Feb. 9 opening ceremony and will also field a unified women’s hockey team for the competition.

The joint hockey team would mark the first time the two Koreas have competed as a unified squad.

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Earlier this month, North Korea committed to sending a delegation to the 2018 Winter Games. The rival Koreas took steps toward reducing their bitter animosity during rare talks as North Korea agreed to attend the PyeongChang Games, hold talks on reducing tension along their border and to reopen a military hotline.

READ MORE: North Korea at Olympics: Notable moments of Hermit Kingdom’s appearances at the Games

Athletes of the Koreas marched together under a “unification flag” depicting their peninsula during the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2000 Sydney Olympics. It was the Koreas’ first such parade since their 1945 division. The North captured a silver and three bronze medals at the Games.

The Koreas continued the tradition of marching under the “unification flag” for both 2004 Athens Summer Games and the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics.

According to South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency, the North will also send a 30-member taekwondo demonstration team to the Games. The North Korean delegation will travel to the South via a western land route, making it the first time since February 2016 a cross-border road will be open between the two rivals, the news agency reported.

The measures require approval by the International Olympic Committee. The South Korean ministry says the two Koreas will consult with the IOC this weekend.

–with a file from the Associated Press

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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