South in Volte Face on Incheon Joint Teams

The South Korean government has announced that it will consider the formation of joint teams made up of North and South Korean athletes for
some events at the upcoming Incheon Asian Games, which take place in September.

A Ministry of Unification official told reporters in Seoul
today that while no requests concerning joint teams have been received thus far,
combined teams of some kind appear popular with Incheon City, and “If and when
there is a formal request, we plan to discuss it with Incheon City and the
[Asian Games] Organizing Committee.”

“The government’s stance is to support the successful
hosting of the Asian Games, and as such if North Korea participates in the
upcoming competition, we will treat them in accordance with international
practices,” the official added.

In April, the South Korean government stated that joint
teams would be inappropriate in light of the fractious state of inter-Korean
relations.

On June 10th North Korea became the second nation to declare
its team list for Incheon. The country’s
athletes are slated to participate in men’s and women’s football, swimming,
archery, boxing, track and field, judo, gymnastics, shooting, table tennis,
weightlifting, wrestling, karate, and canoeing.

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