In a rare show of unity, two mixed doubles teams consisting players from South and North Korea have booked their places in the round-of-16 of an international table tennis event here.
According to Yonhap, the two mixed doubles teams of Choe Il (North Korea)-Yoo Eun-chong (South Korea) and Jang Woo-jin (South Korea)-Cha Hyo-sim (North Korea) qualified for the last-16 of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour event in South Korea’s Daejeon city.
Choe and Yoo defeated Alvaro Robles and Galia Dvorak of Spain 3-2, while Jang and Cha moved on to the last-16 after their Mongolian opponents, Battumur Baatar and Delgermaa Mergen withdrew from the event.
In addition to the mixed doubles pairs, the Koreas will also field one joint team each in men’s and women’s doubles event.
This comes at a time after North Korea and South Korea agreed to hold a family reunion event by mid-August this year, as decided by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in during the historic inter-Korean summit at the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) on April 27 this year.
It should be noted that the Korean War ended in an armistice agreement and not in a peace treaty. The two Korean countries are still technically at war, although Moon and Kim had pledged at the inter-Korean summit that they will sign a peace treaty to end the six-decade Korean War formally.