The South Korean government said Friday it will push to expand cooperation and exchanges in sports and culture with the North, including a joint entrance at the opening of this year's Asian Games in Indonesia.
In a 2018 policy report to Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said it plans to seek joint entrances and organize joint cheering squads with the North at future international sporting events, including the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, in August and the 2019 Summer Universiade in Naples, Italy, in July of next year.
South and North Korea agreed Wednesday to field a joint women's ice hockey team for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in the South next month and march together under a "unified Korea" flag at the opening ceremony. The agreement marked a major breakthrough after years of frosty ties between the two countries and last year's heightened tensions over the North's nuclear and missile provocations.
The two sides also agreed to hold a joint cultural event at Mount Kumgang in the North before the opening of the Olympics and to conduct joint training for skiers at Masikryong Ski Resort on the North's east coast. The ministry said that it is currently working on the details of the events.
The ministry said that it will actively consult with the international community in preparing for the North's Olympic participation. "(We) will consult with the international community, including the United Nations, in dealing with matters relating to sanctions on North Korea," the ministry added.
The government will strengthen measures to deal with PyeongChang's seasonal cold weather and heavy snow, as well as improve transportation facilities for visitors and athletes, it added.
The ministry also said it will try to invite North Korean athletes and teams to domestic sporting events in the South and strengthen cross-border sports ties.(Yonhap)