In what would be a major symbolic moment, the governments of North Korea and South Korea have agreed to march together to open the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, according to a new AP report.
South Korean officials said that the two nations will march under a unified flag under the terms of an agreement reached Wednesday in the border village of Panmunjom. The measure requires the approval of the International Olympic Committee, and the countries will present the plan to the IOC later this week.
The two nations will also form a shared women’s ice hockey team, and North Korea will send a 230-person “cheering squad” to the Olympics.
Although the discussions, the first in two years, are a positive step in warming relations between the two countries, Japan in particular has warned against falling for North Korea’s “charm offensive.” North Korea has refused to halt development of new nuclear missiles, and has fired missiles over Japan, despite increasingly severe U.N. sanctions.
“It is not the time to ease pressure, or to reward North Korea,” Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said. “The fact that North Korea is engaging in dialogue could be interpreted as proof that the sanctions are working.”