• Kyodo

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The North and South Korean delegations will march together in Saturday’s opening ceremony of the Winter Asian Games, according to Olympic officials of both countries.

It will be the third time athletes and officials of North and South Korea have jointly marched in an international sports event following the 2002 Sydney Olympics and last year’s Asian Games in Pusan, South Korea.

On Thursday, a South Korean delegation official said the two countries had little time to work out such an arrangement for this event, due chiefly to the belated completion of North Korea’s entry procedures for the games.

But North Korea asked South Korea late Thursday to discuss a joint march at Aoi Mori Arena and both sides reached an agreement on Friday.

Sources close to the delegations said a joint march had been considered difficult due to growing tensions over issues on North Korea, including its nuclear program.

On Jan. 14, North Korea filed an entry list of 29 athletes and 22 officials, two weeks after the official deadline, for its first Winter Asian Games appearance in 13 years.

Six municipalities of Aomori Prefecture will host competitions at this year’s games, which run through Feb. 8, with the prefectural capital of Aomori staging the opening ceremony.

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