Two Koreas to form joint teams at Int’l Table Tennis Federation World Tour Platinum Korea Open

Sports diplomacy is continuing to play a crucial
role in facilitating dialogue between the two Koreas who are seeking the denuclearization
of the Korean Peninsula. The two have agreed to form joint teams for
an international tournament which begins Tuesday in South Korea. Kim Hyo-sun tells us more. North Korean table tennis players arrived
in South Korea on Sunday to compete in an international tournament,… and the two Koreas
have agreed to form joint doubles teams. The North’s 25-member squad,… includes the
16 players who will take part in the International Table Tennis Federation World Tour Platinum
Korea Open which begins in the central city of Daejeon on Tuesday. This marks the third time since 1991,… that
the two sides have formed joint table tennis teams,… and the first time the North competes
in an International Table Tennis Federation event. During the six-day tournament, the two Koreas
will form united teams in men’s, women’s and mixed doubles. “The two Koreas will become one through table
tennis and sports,… and the two will compete at the Korean Open together in many different
ways. This is hugely progressive. I expect to see the Korean players hold hands
and play wonderful games.” According to the Korea Table Tennis Association,
South Korea’s Lee Sang-su will pair up with the North’s Pak Sin-hyok for the men’s doubles
event,… and in the women’s doubles, it’ll be Seo Hyo-won and Kim Song-i .
For mixed doubles, South Korea’s Jang Woo-jin and North’s Cha Hyo-sim will play together,…
as will Yoo Eun-chong and Pak Sin-hyok. “It’s really a dream come true. I’ve always hoped to see a unified team since
I was a member of the unified team last time, and I also hope to have more sport exchanges
with the North.” The so-called “ping pong diplomacy”,… among
other sports exchanges,… comes as the two Koreas seek ways to mend their ties and achieve
the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The two Koreas have also agreed to forge combined
teams in some sports during the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta that start next month. Kim Hyo-sun, Arirang News.

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