Wednesday, September 19, 2018
banner
Home /  WORLD  /  No joint Korean march at Paralympics due to flag row

No joint Korean march at Paralympics due to flag row

No joint Korean march at Paralympics due to flag row


AFP
Pyeongchang
The two Koreas will not march together at Friday's Winter Paralympics opening ceremony, as they did at the Olympics, due to a disagreement about whether to include islands disputed with Japan on a united flag, officials said.
Athletes from the North and South marched together at the opening of last month's Winter Olympics under a neutral"unification flag", part of an intense rapprochement that also saw the North send hundreds of cheerleaders and leader Kim Jong Un's sister to the ceremony.
Seoul responded by sending President Moon Jae-in's special envoys including his spy chief to Pyongyang, where leader Kim told them he was willing to discuss denuclearisation with the US.
The North is sending two cross-country skiers Kim Jong Hyon and Ma Yu Chol to the Winter Paralympics, the first time it has ever sent athletes to the event, and the South's Yonhap news agency said athletes from both countries had initially agreed to march together at the opening ceremony.
But after lengthy negotiations between both countries Thursday, the Korea Paralympic Commitee (KPC) said there would be no joint march as the North"cannot accept the fact that it is not allowed to display Dokdo in the unification flag during the Games".
Dokdo is the name given by South Korea to Seoul-controlled islands in the Sea of Japan, but they are also claimed by Japan, which calls them"Takeshima".
Ahead of last month's Winter Olympics, Japan was angered after a unification flag which depicts a pale blue sihouette of the peninsula used at a practice of the Koreas'combined women's ice hockey team showed a blue dot indicating the islands. Seoul agreed to stop using that version of the flag after Tokyo protested.
The KPC said that the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) had told them it was impossible change the flag as it has a"strong partnership"with the International Olympic Committee.
"The IPC said it did not want any more controversy over this, so decided to honour each side's opinion by letting the two countries march separately,"the KPC said.
IPC president Andrew Parsons added:"We respect the decision of the two (committees) who decided that marching separately would be better for both parties."

Subscribe to our Whatsapp Service

POST A COMMENT