Historically, North Korea and South Korea don't get along. But for the 2018 Winter Olympics, which will take place in Pyeongchang County, South Korea, the two countries have finally reconciled their differences and decided to march into the games as a combined front. Both will carry the "unification flag," which displays a silhouette of the Korean peninsula, and together, they'll also create a joint women's hockey team.
The biggest inter-Korean agreement in a decade? Off the top of my head, yeah, probably. https://t.co/h7u1Enx9t0— Jonathan Cheng (@JChengWSJ) January 17, 2018
North and South Korea came to the agreement in Panmunjom, a truce village in North Korea, the BBC reported, adding that this is the first time in over two years that the countries have had such prominent talks.
Still, there are a couple hurdles that the two Koreas need to overcome. South Korea's hockey coach and the country's conservative newspapers believe the shared team could hurt the country's odds at winning a medal. And there's even a petition circling the internet requesting that South Korean President Moon Jae-in completely abandon the idea. The International Olympic Committee will still have to authorize the proposed hockey team on Saturday due to North Korea's failure to qualify or meet deadlines.
There's gonna be domestic grumbling about this flag in South Korea. Media here have been covering South Koreans irritated that they won't get to fly their own country's flag at the Olympics that they are hosting.— Elise Hu (@elisewho) January 17, 2018
The two countries have displayed a united front at past Olympic games. At the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, North and South Korean athletes walked in together under the unification flag but played as separate teams. The two Koreas repeated that same effort at the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, again as separate teams.
Hopefully, Pyeongchang 2018 will initiate an era of compromise between the two warring countries. The Winter Olympics kicks off with its opening ceremony on Feb. 9.