Winter Olympics: North, South Korea could march under same flag at Games

'send 230-strong cheering squad'

Today, North and South Korea have confirmed that after much discussion they have agreed to not only field a Joint Women's Ice Hockey Team together, but to also march together under a single unified Korean flag at the #2018 Winter Olympics next month, taking place in South Korea.

The team will march together under a unified peninsula flag at the opening ceremony, a joint statement released by Seoul's unification ministry said.

The North agreed to send 230 cheerleaders to support athletes from the two Koreas during the Olympics and to form a joint cheering squad with the South. The women's ice-hockey squad "will be the first combined Korean team for the Olympics, and the first unified team since their athletes played together for an worldwide table-tennis championship and a youth soccer tournament in 1991".

A deal to combine North and South Korean women's hockey players on one team was reached Wednesday, pending approval from International Olympic Committee.

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The ministry said the two sides exchanged opinions on several issues, including the size of the North Korean team, joint cultural events and use of the Masikryong ski report in North Korea.

The decision on a united ice hockey team has not received a positive response from athletes in the South.

Seoul confirmed on Wednesday that North Korea will be aligning with South Korea for the Winter Olympics, which will be held in the South, Seoul. At the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, in which North Korea did not participate, South Korea won eight medals, including three golds.

Russian Federation hit out on Wednesday at a US-led effort to increase global pressure on North Korea, saying it was making the situation worse and undermining the United Nations. The IOC said recently it has "kept the door open" for North Korea to take part in the games.

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Graham also said he believed a war with North Korea would be "devastating" and that a military option should be a "last resort", contending a surgical strike against the rogue state would not be particularly effective. North Korea came midtable, just below the British team.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said the world should not be naive about Pyongyang's "charm offensive" over the Olympics.

Twenty nations meeting in the Canadian city of Vancouver agreed on Tuesday to consider tougher sanctions to press North Korea to halt its nuclear weapons programme. "Then you have people being added later".

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