Winter Olympics: Unified Koreas play first hockey game

The two states also agreed to form a unified women's hockey team.

The President's remarks come after a turbulent week for Washington's North Korea policy which, following the surprise drop of Victor Cha as candidate for Ambassador to Seoul, led to fears in some quarters that the US may be considering limited future attacks against Pyongyang.

South Korean hockey players give bouquets to North Korean players January 25 at Jincheon, South Korea, sports complex.

But outside the arena, security was tight as protesters faced off with supporters of the joint team.

"They would rather die than be repatriated to North Korea and suffer a awful punishment for the rest of their lives", Lee has written in her prepared remarks to the president, according to the Post.

Speculation about who could lead the delegation had been rife in the South for weeks, with some analysts pointing to Choe Ryong-Hae, who is the vice chairman of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party and seen as Kim Jong-Un's right-hand man. This is first joint team between North and South Korea since 1991.

Both sets of players speak Korean, but the language has evolved differently in the North and South. This has much to do with the North Korean government's threats to engulf Seoul "in a sea of fire" if Washington dares to attack.

They were the last group of North Korean athletes to arrive for the Olympics. "We'll find out. We're going to find out pretty soon, I suspect".

Before the match, the Korean players stood to the Korean traditional tune of "Arirang" instead of their respective national anthems.

Since the division of the peninsula the two Koreas have only competed as unified teams in 1991, when their women won the team gold at the world table tennis championship in Japan, and their under-19 footballers reached the world championship quarter-finals in Portugal.

North Korea on Sunday slammed President Donald Trump's State of the Union address and said its nuclear capabilities would "deter Trump and his lackeys from showing off on the Korean peninsula".

"However, the US authorities are misleading public opinion as if the inter-Korean dialogue is an outcome of their harshest sanctions and pressure imposed upon our country".

But in a situation described as problematic by a senior member of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), i can reveal the pre-Games testing for North Korea has been one of the lowest ever for a nation competing at the Olympics.

  • Rogelio Becker