South, North Korea form joint table tennis team

Harimoto Tomokazu of Japan serves to Gao Ning of Singapore at the fifth round of Men's group match during the 2018 World Team Table Tennis Championships in Halmstad Sweden

North Korean KIM Song I who won a bronze medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games shared "I also saw this video and I was surprised about the power of the united team". "When I informed the Board of Directors about this development, the Unified Team received a standing ovation from the delegates who showed their sign of support for this historic move", he was quoted as saying by ittf.com. 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.

The World Table Tennis Championship 2018 witnessed history after North and South Korea chose to use sports as a platform to promote peace.

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.

It will be interesting to see a unified Korea team take on neighbours Japan, in a high-intensity semifinal.

The Republic of Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea opted against playing each other at the world table tennis championships on Thursday, deciding instead to field a joint women's team for the semi-finals.

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According to the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), this is the first time the two Koreas will compete as one team at the world championships since the 1991 tournament in Chiba.

Ryu said there was no discussion on a possible joint team prior to the world championships. But when the action resumed in Halmstad on Friday, South Korean player Jeon Jihee lost in three sets, 11-2, 11-8, 11-9, to Japan's Mima Ito in the first match.

BBC reports that sports is helping North Korea come closer to the South.

Desk tennis additionally has a historical past in diplomacy. North Korea boycotted the 1986 Asian Games and the 1988 Olympics, both held in Seoul.

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