Sport

Korea President: Trump and I Have Common Goal

Korea President: Trump and I Have Common Goal”

North Korea has accused the US of escalating tensions with its actions and refers to its own missile launch tests as measures to safeguard its country, while Washington believes the joint military drills with Seoul are important to safeguard against any North Korean threat. It was the first sports exchange since Mr Moon took office.

American student Otto Warmbier speaks as he is presented to reporters in Pyongyang, North Korea. In 1991, they fielded a joint team to an worldwide table-tennis championship and also a soccer tournament. Those comments, made during an interview with Reuters, seemed to overlook the deployment of 700,000 North Korean soldiers just above the demilitarized zone, which would make any war with the North devastating to the South. They again marched together at the 2004 Athens Olympics, using the single name "Korea" and carrying a "Korea is one" flag that showed a blue and undivided Korean Peninsula.

Past efforts to form a unified team have all faltered over politically delicate details such as the number of players from each side, which side should choose the head coach and where the team would train.

Incidentally, similar efforts in the past had faced obstacles. The presence of two US aircraft carriers off the Korean Peninsula - the first time in 20 years that USA naval maneuvers included two carrier groups - was meant as a "message of reassurance" against any aggression by North Korea.

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The main objective of Kang's visit was reportedly to highlight the two countries' strong alliance ahead of the first face-to-face meeting of Presidents Moon Jae-in and Donald Trump in Washington, which will set the tone of the two countries' relations for the years to come.

"The Chinese are only going so far in terms of pressuring North Korea", said Joel Wit, senior fellow at the U.S. -Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and co-founder of Washington's 38 North think-tank. The South's version became an Olympic medal sport in 2000.

"If a North Korean delegation takes part in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, I believe it will greatly contribute to realizing the Olympic values of friendship and peace", he said, according to a script of his remarks released by the presidential Blue House.

"The nature of sports talks is such that, once the leaderships of both Koreas make their political decision, things can really pick up the pace and it could lead to great results", An said.

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