Following warmth developed between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, the two countries have displayed unity in sports. Two mixed doubles teams consisting players from South and North Korea have booked their places in the round-of-16 of an international table tennis even being held in South Korea’s Daejeon city.
According to Yonhap, the official South Korean news agency, the two mixed doubles teams of Choe Il (North Korea)-Yoo Eun-chong (South Korea) and Jang Woo-jin (South Korea)-Cha Hyo-sim (North Korea) qualified for the last-16 of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour event.
Choe and Yoo defeated Alvaro Robles and Galia Dvorak of Spain 3-2, while Jang and Cha moved on to the last-16 after their Mongolian opponents, Battumur Baatar and Delgermaa Mergen withdrew from the event.
This comes at a time after North and South Korea agreed to hold a family reunion event by mid-August this year, as decided the two leaders during the historic inter-Korean summit at the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) on April 27 this year.
Korean War (1950-53) ended in an armistice agreement and not in a peace treaty. The two Koreas are still technically at war, although Moon and Kim had pledged at the inter-Korean summit that they will sign a peace treaty to end the six-decade Korean War formally.
On June 12, US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held summit in Singapore and discussed denuclearization of North Korea and removal of American sanctions against Pyongyang. However, there are contradictory signals from both the capitals about the the follow-up of the summit.
Earlier North Korea participated in 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea along with a high power delegation headed by sister of Kim Jong-un.