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North & South Korea Unite as One at 2018 ITTF World Championships

North & South Korea Unite as One at 2018 ITTF World Championships”

The sudden decision guarantees the team a medal, as a third-place match will not be held at the World Team Table Tennis Championships now under way in Sweden.

The Korea Table Tennis Association (KTTA) said the two Koreas agreed to join forces during the World Team Table Tennis Championships in Halmstad, Sweden. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in promised last week to work toward the "complete denuclearization" of the Korean Peninsula.

Korea fielded a unified women's team for the 1991 tournament, and they defeated a China team previously seen as unbeatable to claim the gold.

Following the unification, the Unified Korea Team will be competing in the semi-finals against the victor between Japan and Ukraine as Korea (COR), and both teams will be seated at the bench during their match as a sign of unity between the teams.

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The draw pit North Korea against South Korea in the quarter-finals of the women's world championship, and was scheduled to play today, but before the start of the representatives of the teams told the referees not to want to play against each other during the confrontation. The decision received a standing ovation from the delegates because the move is another step towards normalizing relations between the two countries that had soured over a period of time. The joint Korean women's squad face Japan in the semifinals which should be going on right now. "The ITTF's motto is 'Solidarity Through Table Tennis.' And I think the combined team fits that vision". Hyun Jung-hwa of South Korea and Li Bun-hui of North teamed up to win against crowd favourites China.

It has been a big year for the two Korean countries joining forces, after they made history by marching together in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games earlier in Pyongchang, which was the most significant sign of unity in worldwide sport since the 1991 World Table Tennis Championships.

North and South Korea had divided after the second World War and it was North Korea's participating in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics that began the diplomatic breakthrough.



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