North and South Korea annouce joint table tennis team at World Championships

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The two countries - who are technically still at war - were due to meet in the quarter-finals of the World Team Table Tennis Championships in Halmstad, Sweden but chose to instead lay down their bats and shake hands in order to form a unified team.

Her victory completed Japan's 3-0 win against a unified Korea team.

The two Koreas are forming a unified team at the women's world table tennis championships. The joint table tennis team will be the first since the 1991 World Table Tennis Championships in Japan, when the unified women's team, led by South Korean Olympic Champion Hyun Jung-hwa and North Korea star Li Bun-hui won the gold medal.


The decision in Sweden is the second time the two nations have joined together in sports.

The President of Qatar and Arab Table Tennis Federations Khaleel Al Mohannadi, who is also the first deputy of ITTF President, said that the Koreas' decision to field united team a clear message of peace.

"But there's no disadvantage to the teams before and we informed all the (other) teams and they agreed. we all feel happy that we have a small sign in the process of the reunion of Korea".


Suh shared that she saw a movie about the united team and now, it felt a bit unusual. I think, this united team aimed to be like unbeatable.

Each team has already played five group matches in the tournament, being held in Halmstad, Sweden, with North Korea having since gone on to beat Russian Federation 3-0 in the last 16. Using table tennis as a platform to promote this pledge was looked upon with great admiration worldwide. In the 1970s the Nixon administration helped open the door to relations between Communist China and the US with a series of games between the two countries. "At least now we can be a more powerful team", Suh Hyowon said in a video shared by ITTF.

"I'm happy. It's a bit of a risk of course as this is not 100 percent according to the rules", ITTF president Thomas Weikert told Reuters after a news conference. Talks for joint Korean teams at the Asian Games gained momentum last week following the inter-Korean summit.


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