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S. Korea anticipates DPRK's positive response to proposal for unified Olympic team

(Xinhua)    13:35, June 26, 2017

SEOUL, June 26 (Xinhua) -- South Korea on Monday expressed its anticipation of a positive response from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) over its proposal to form a unified team in the 2018 Winter Olympics.

The winter Olympic competition was scheduled to be held in South Korea's eastern city of Pyeongchang in February next year.

Unification Ministry spokesman Lee Duk-haeng told a regular press briefing that his country was anticipating the positive response from the DPRK, saying that if Pyongyang positively responds to it, there would be a lot of works to do from the working-level perspective.

The proposal for the unified sports team of the two Koreas was made by South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Saturday when he gave a speech at the opening ceremony of the World Taekwondo championship in the city of Muju in South Korea. The Taekwondo is a traditional martial art of the two Koreas.

The DPRK sent a demonstration team to the Taekwondo championship, marking the first sports exchange between the two Koreas since Moon took office on May 10.

If the DPRK accepts Moon's overture, it could serve as a breakthrough to improve the strained inter-Korean ties, which were caused mainly by Pyongyang's two nuclear tests last year and ballistic missile test-launches.

South Korea and the DPRK fielded a joint team in the past international sports competitions, and the unified team marched together in Olympic Games.

The two Koreas sent a joint team to the international table-tennis championship and the international youth soccer tournament in 1991.

When the inter-Korean summit meeting was first held in 2000, the unified inter-Korean team marched together at the opening ceremony of the Sydney Olympics.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hu Ximeng, Bianji)

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