PYEONGCHANG -- The two Koreas showcased a joint taekwondo performance here Friday ahead of the opening ceremony for the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games.
|Taekwondo practitioners from South Korea and North Korea perform together at the Olympic Stadium in PyeongChang, Gangwon Province, ahead of the opening ceremony for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics on Friday. (Yonhap)|
The taekwondo demonstration teams, from the South Korea-based World Taekwondo and the North Korea-led International Taekwondo Federation, held a joint performance at the Olympic Stadium in PyeongChang, some 180 kilometers east of Seoul, as a part of the pre-opening ceremony events for the 23rd Winter Games.
This is the first time since last June that the Koreas had a taekwondo performance together south of the border. The North's taekwondo team performed in South Korea during WT's World Taekwondo Championships in Muju, North Jeolla Province.
The South Korean team started the performance, breaking wooden boards with high kicks. Seventeen North Korean taekwondo practitioners followed next, showing powerful moves. Some 200 North Korean cheerleaders on the second deck of the stadium shouted slogans like "power up," "our nation's unification," and "we're one" during their performance. The taekwondo practitioners from the two Koreas then performed together on the stage at the open-air, pentagon arena.
The South and the North previously agreed to have four joint taekwondo performances during the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. The North's taekwondo team arrived in the South on Wednesday.
Following the performance in PyeongChang, two taekwondo demonstration teams will move to Gangwon Career Education Institute in Sokcho, Gangwon Province, for their second joint performance Saturday. They will then head to Seoul for joint performances on Monday and Wednesday.
North Korean taekwondo practitioners are scheduled to return home next Thursday via a land route, while the ITF officials will take a flight from Incheon International Airport. (Yonhap)