Indonesia 2018: North and South Korea to march together

Two nations to compete under unified flag in three events

Colorful logo of Indonesia 2018 Asian Para Games © • Asian Paralympic Committee

The Asian Paralympic Committee (APC) has announced that South Korea and North Korea will march together at the Indonesia Asian Para Games, which start on 6 October in Jakarta. This will be the first time the two nations have marched together at a Para sport event.

Approximately 100 athletes from the National Paralympic Committee (NPC) of South Korea and 20 athletes from NPC North Korea will march. A flagbearer from each country will carry the Korean Unification flag under the name Korea (COR) and the anthem used will be ‘Arirang’, a traditional piece of folk music from the 1920s. Athletes will wear a uniform that uses the same design of the flag. These are the same protocols that occurred during the Jakarta & Palembang 2018 Asian Games.

Once sport begins, the nations will also join forces to compete as a unified team (COR) in three events: one in swimming and two in table tennis. For all other events, the two nations will compete separately.

APC President Majid Rashed commented: “Whilst joint marching occurred at both the Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang and the recent Jakarta Palembang Asian Games, this is the first time that the two countries have marched and competed together at a Para sport event.

“We’d like to thank the IPC (International Paralympic Committee), the International Federations and INAPGOC (Indonesia 2018 oranising committee) for supporting this initiative. We are immensely proud that the Asian Para Games will help the Paralympic Movement to spread this message of peace around the world.”

Andrew Parsons, IPC President, said: “We are really pleased to learn that North and South Korea will march jointly during the Asian Para Games Ceremonies and compete as a unified team in several sports.

“Such actions once again show the ability of sport to unite people and bring to the world a message of peace through sport. We wish the competing athletes the very best of luck in Jakarta.”

International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) CEO, Steve Dainton said: “The ITTF is proud to support the formation of the Unified Korean Para table tennis team at the Asian Para Games. Table tennis has long been a driver of world peace through ping pong diplomacy, and we are happy to be able to contribute towards promoting peace in the Korean Peninsula once again.

“After the historic reunification at the 2018 World Team Championships in Halmstad, the North & South Korean team also teamed up to form unified doubles team at the Korean Open this year where they eventually won gold in the mixed doubles event. We are excited that this momentum is ongoing and growing strong, and North and South Korea will play as one again at the Asian Para Games.”