PALEMBANG, Indonesia -- South Korean Sports Minister Do Jong-whan said Wednesday that he has proposed joint teams with North Korea at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.
Do was visiting Jakabaring Sports City in Palembang, a co-host city of the 18th Asian Games with Jakarta, to watch the men's unified Korean rowing team along with North Korean Sports Minister Kim Il-guk.
"We talked about what to do with unified teams ahead of the Tokyo Olympics," Do told reporters. "And we've also exchanged opinions on holding regular inter-Korean sports talks, where we can discuss assembling more joint teams."
The Koreas competed as one in women's hockey at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea's PyeongChang. At the ongoing 18th Asian Games, the Koreas have unified teams in women's basketball, rowing and canoeing.
They have never competed as one in any sport at the Summer Olympics.
In addition, Do said he asked North Korea to take part in the 2019 National Sports Festival in Seoul and the International Swimming Federation World Championships in Gwangju, 330 kilometers south of the South Korean capital.
Do noted that the 2019 National Sports Festival will be the competition's 100th edition, and the North's presence will add to the significance of the occasion.
Do said that while the two sides agree on many issues in principle, North Korean sports officials will have to review the South's proposals once they return home after the Asian Games.
Asked if the Koreas will have more joint teams in Tokyo than they do at these Asian Games, Do said the government can't make that decision alone.
"We certainly hope to have more, but we'll need to speak to the Korean Sport & Olympic Committee, individual national sports federations and athletes," Do added. (Yonhap)