North and South Korea combining in 3 sports at Asian Games

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, left, and South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo speak in Seoul, South Korea Thursday, June 28, 2018. (Chung Sung-jun/Pool Photo via AP)

The Olympic Council of Asia said North and South Korea will field combined teams in canoeing, rowing and women's basketball at the Asian Games in August in Indonesia

JAKARTA, Indonesia — The Olympic Council of Asia says North and South Korea will field combined teams in three sports — canoeing, rowing and women's basketball — at the Asian Games in the latest sign of cooperation between the countries.

The Koreas will also march together at the opening and closing ceremonies at the games in Indonesia from Aug. 18 to Sept. 2.

Ties between the neighbors have improved since the Pyeongchang Olympics in South Korea in February. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed at a summit in April to jointly participate in international sports events.

Vinod Kumar Tiwari, the OCA director of international and National Olympic Committee relations, says on Thursday, "This will be an historic Asian Games for the Olympic Council of Asia and for the continent because it will be the first time that North Korea and South Korea will form a unified team in certain sports.

"They have marched together before in the opening ceremony and we are delighted that they are extending their joint cooperation further in the spirit of unity and friendship."

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