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North and South Korea to submit joint team for Asian Games

North and South Korea have agreed to form some combined teams at the Asian Games in August this year.

In an effort to promote reconciliation, including opening military hotlines and arranging reunions for families of Koreans divided by the 1950-53 Korean War, the nations also agreed they would march together at the event as a sign of unity.

It is not yet confirmed which sports the unified team would compete in at the Asian Games, but two friendly games of basketball will als be held in both North and South Korea this year.

The unified basketball team will play in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang on July 4 to commemorate the anniversary of the South and North Joint Communique, which was signed in 1972.

Jeon Choong-ryul, secretary general of the Korean Sport & Olympic Committee, said: “We will try to materialise the spirit and principles agreed between high-level officials of South and North Korea with the belief that sports can act as a guide for better inter-Korean exchanges.

“As we all witnessed during the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, sports gave a chance to initiate better inter-Korean relations.”

An official from the sports ministry,  Lee Hae-don added: “Today’s meeting was to follow up on the achievement we made during the recent Olympics by boosting more regular, various sports exchanges including friendly matches, joint participation in global events and joint training.”

The 2018 Asian Games will be held in the host cities of Jakarta and Palembang from 18 August to 2 September.

The Games are held every four years, with the 2014 event in Incheon, South Korea, hosting 35 nations in 45 sports.