Home COLUMNS LITE BLOGS Opening Ceremony of 2018 Winter Olympics Kicks Off

Opening Ceremony of 2018 Winter Olympics Kicks Off

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Photo shows the opening ceremony of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games held at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium, South Korea, Feb. 9, 2018. (Xinhua/Fei Maohua/IANS)

The highlight of the opening ceremony¬†is North and South Korea marching together under a unified flag for the first time in 12 years. North Korea’s presence at the Games is a result of a landmark agreement between the two Koreas during several high-level meetings in January and follows a period of escalated tension in the region over continuous weapons tests by Pyongyang….reports Asian Lite News

Photo shows the opening ceremony of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games held at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium, South Korea, Feb. 9, 2018. (Xinhua/Fei Maohua/IANS)

The opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games kicked off on Friday.

The highlight of the ceremony, which is being attended by 35,000 people, is North and South Korea marching together under a unified flag for the first time in 12 years in front of a North Korean delegation led by the country’s honorary president, Kim Yong-nam, and Kim Yo-jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

North Korea’s presence at the Games is a result of a landmark agreement between the two Koreas during several high-level meetings in January and follows a period of escalated tension in the region over continuous weapons tests by Pyongyang.

The two Koreas showcased a joint taekwondo performance on Friday ahead of the opening ceremony.

The taekwondo demonstration teams, from the South Korea-based World Taekwondo (WT) and the North Korea-led International Taekwondo Federation (ITF), held a joint performance at the Olympic Stadium as a part of the pre-opening ceremony events for the 23rd Winter Games.

A group of Russian tourists poses for a photo with Olympic volunteers at Jinbu Station in the Olympic town of PyeongChang on Feb. 9, 2018. (Yonhap/IANS)

This is the first time since last June that the Koreas had a taekwondo performance together south of the border. The North’s taekwondo team performed in South Korea during WT’s World Taekwondo Championships in Muju, North Jeolla Province.

The South Korean team started the performance, breaking wooden boards with high kicks. Seventeen North Korean taekwondo practitioners followed next, showing powerful moves.

Some 200 North Korean cheerleaders on the second deck of the stadium shouted slogans like “power up,” “our nation’s unification,” and “we’re one” during their performance.

The taekwondo practitioners from the two Koreas then performed together on the stage at the open-air, pentagon arena.

The South and the North previously agreed to have four joint taekwondo performances during the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. The North’s taekwondo team arrived in the South on Wednesday.

Following the performance in PyeongChang, two taekwondo demonstration teams will move to Gangwon Career Education Institute in Sokcho, Gangwon Province, for their second joint performance on Saturday. They will then head to Seoul for joint performances on Monday and Wednesday.

North Korean taekwondo practitioners are scheduled to return home next Thursday via a land route, while the ITF officials will take a flight from Incheon International Airport.