South Korea are dropping their plan for a joint women’s field hockey team with the North at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, officials said Thursday, after Pyongyang failed to co-operate. Sporting ties triggered a rapid diplomatic thaw on and around the peninsula last year, but are stagnating with the wider process over the North’s nuclear arsenal deadlocked. The two Koreas formed their first-ever unified Olympic team — a joint women’s ice hockey squad — for the 2018 Winter Games in the South, where they proved a media sensation despite losing all five of their matches by a combined scoreline of 28-2. The two Koreas then formed several joint teams for the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia and in February agreed to send unified basketball, judo, field hockey and rowing squads to Tokyo. But just weeks later a summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump collapsed in disagreement over sanctions relief and what Pyongyang would be willing to give up in return. That left North-South relations in limbo, with Pyongyang not responding to offers of talks or implementing previous agreements. The International Olympic Committee has stipulated that, in team sports, any joint team Tokyo entries must… Read full this story
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