S Korea proposes joint march, hockey team with North at Olympics

S Korea proposes joint march, hockey team with North at Olympics

South Korea on Saturday agreed to North Korea's proposal to hold talks next week on its plan to send an art troupe to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, Seoul's Unification Ministry said.

Chang said he had discussions with IOC President Thomas Bach on North Korea's participation in the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games in South Korea.

A senior South Korean official said on Friday that Seoul is seeking to form a joint women's ice hockey team with North Korea to participate in next month's Winter Olympics being hosted by the South.

The two Koreas, who are still technically at war, marched together at the opening ceremonies of the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the 2004 Athens Games and the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin.North Korea boycotted the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul, meaning Pyeongchang will be the first Olympics they have attended in the South.

"Go Pyeongchang, Go Korea football", former Bundesliga player Cha said as he set off, with fans chanting his name.

South Korean freestyle figure skater Park Hee-Jin raised the flame high before a crowd hundreds who were gathered in the capital's Sangam district in a ceremony held just weeks before the event on February 9-25.

North Korea, however, has yet to give a response to the South Korean proposal, according to the ministry, which handles inter-Korean affairs.

There was no immediate response from North Korea to the proposals. He said the International Olympic Committee will likely consider the proposal.

Speed skater Lee Sang-Hwa, who will be aiming for a record-equalling third Olympic gold in the women's 500m in Pyeongchang, former U.S. major league baseball pitcher Park Chan-Ho and Choo Shin-Soo, who plays for baseball team Texas Rangers, also held the torch. In an interview the local press the same day at the athlete's village in Jincheon, North Chungcheong Province, second vice culture minister Roh Tae-kang said steps would be taken to "ensure that our athletes do not suffer if a unified ice hockey team is formed". South Korea is grouped with Sweden, Switzerland and Japan in the women's tournament.

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