North Korean sports officials buried their rancor over South Korea’s military exercises with the United States and started preparations today for sending a joint Korean team to next year’s Asian Games.
In their first encounter at the border village of Panmunjom to consider the feasibility of fielding a single team at the games in Beijing, sports officials from both sides agreed in principle to do so and immediately began removing political obstacles.
“The first meeting was productive and efficient,” chief Northern delegate Kim Hyong Jin told reporters after just over two hours of talks.
Of the three widely expected political obstacles, the two sides quickly struck a deal on an anthem for the joint team and agreed on the basic design for the flag.
Although the question of the team’s name remains unresolved, to be taken up again at the next session on March 28, Seoul delegates agreed the talks made smooth progress.