In this photo provided by the South Korea Culture And Sports Ministry, South Korean head delegate Jeon Choong-ryul, right, shakes hands with his North Korean counterpart Won Kil U during a meeting at the southern side of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, North Korea, Monday, June 18, 2018. Sports officials from the rival Koreas are meeting at a border village to discuss how to cooperate in the Asian Games being held in Indonesia in August. (South Korea Culture And Sports Ministry via AP)

2 Koreas agree to march together at Asian Games

June 18, 2018 - 8:30 am

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Athletes from the rival Koreas will march together under a single flag in the opening and closing ceremonies of the upcoming Asian Games in Indonesia, officials said Monday, in another tension-easing step since last week's summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Sports officials from two countries also agreed in talks at a border village to field combined teams in some unspecified events at the Asian Games, which begin in August, South Korea's Sports Ministry said in a statement.

It said the two Koreas also decided to hold friendly basketball matches in Pyongyang and Seoul in the coming months. Kim proposed the matches in an earlier summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, according to South Korean sports officials.

Trump and Kim met last Tuesday in Singapore in their countries' first-ever summit. Kim reaffirmed a vague commitment to work toward the "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," while Trump promised to provide security guarantees to North Korea and suspend joint military drills with South Korea as long as negotiations with the North continue in "good faith."

Some say the one-day summit helped extend a temporary detente on the Korean Peninsula, but others say it was light on substance and Trump made too many concessions to North Korea.

Two days after the summit, military generals from the Koreas held rare talks and agreed to restore cross-border military communication channels. The two countries plan to hold a series of talks in the coming days on resuming reunions of families divided by the 1950-53 Korean War, reconnecting severed cross-border railway and road connections, and establishing a liaison office in the North.

The current detente began in January when Kim expressed his willingness to send a delegation to the South Korean Winter Olympics the following month. The Koreas formed their first joint Olympic team in women's hockey and their athletes paraded together in the opening ceremony for the first time in 11 years.

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