Sports ministers of the two Koreas on Monday agreed to push for a joint march by their athletes at this year's Asian Games.
During their meeting at the Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang, South Korean Sports Minister Do Jong-whan and his North Korean counterpart, Kim Il-guk, discussed ways to expand inter-Korean sports exchanges. They also agreed to engage in more specific talks on a range of issues, including marching under one flag at the Aug. 18-Sept. 2 Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia, following the inter-Korean summit on April 27.
"If North and South Korea meet often for talks and come together in sports, we'll have no problem becoming the No. 1 in Asia, and we'll also be a force to be reckoned with internationally," Kim said.
Do responded, "It'd be great if we can have working-level discussions and start working on specific agreements after the summit at the end of April. I hope sports can lead the way for inter-Korean reconciliation."
The Koreas marched in together behind the Korean Unification Flag at the opening ceremony for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics in February. It was the first joint Korean march at an Olympic Games since Torino 2006.
The South Korean minister also referred to his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during an art performance by South Korean artists in the North a day earlier. There, Kim said the two Koreas need to have active exchanges in sports, especially in basketball, Do noted.
Kim also expressed his willingness to invite Lee Hee-beom, the chief of the South Korean organizing committee for PyeongChang 2018 Olympics, and Korean Sport & Olympic Committee President Lee Kee-heung to North Korea.
|South Korean Sports Minister Do Jong-whan (R) and his North Korean counterpart, Kim Il-guk, shake hands before their meeting at the Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang on April 2, 2018. (Yonhap)|
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