Table tennis unite North, South Korea

  • Table tennis unite North, South Korea

Table tennis unite North, South Korea

This cooperation included the North-South combined women's table tennis team championship win over China in 1991, and a unified world youth boys' soccer team that reached the quarterfinals later that year.

The Korean team went on to lose 3-0 to Japan in Friday's semifinal, but the result seemed to matter little as players from the two countries - Kim Song I (PRK), Yang Haeun (KOR) and Jeon Jinhee (KOR) - embraced after defeat.

North and South Korea had been expected to play each other in the quarterfinals of the World Team Table Tennis Championships in Halmstad, Sweden, but instead of heading head-to-head made a decision to develop a unified team.

The nations, who were due to face each other in Thursday's quarter-finals, chose to instead form a unified team for the last-four match in Sweden. The two Koreas were to compete against each other earlier in a quarterfinal match, with Japan waiting in the semis.

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. "It's a great honor to be part of a new unified team which will make history as well". I would like to thank the ITTF for their strong support.

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. "Like who knew back then that they could beat China at that time", she said.

Sport continues to build bridges in North and South Korea, nearly three months since the so-called "Peace Olympics" were held in the South.

Some critics pointed out however that another country could have been admitted to the tournament if the Koreas had decided before the event to form a united team instead of waiting until it was underway.

Besides joining forces in table tennis, the DPRK and ROK also combined their women's hockey teams at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.