A women ice hockey team of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) crossed the inter-Korean land border Thursday to South Korea for a joint training with their South Korean counterparts as the two sides agreed to field a unified team during the upcoming Winter Olympics.
The DPRK team, composed of 12 athletes, two supporting members and a coach, crossed the military demarcation line (MDL), which has divided the two sides since the 1950-53 Korean War ended in armistice, at about 9:20 a.m. local time (0020 GMT), according to Seoul's unification ministry.
The DPRK women's ice hockey team travelled by bus to the South Korean training center for athletes at Jincheon county in North Chungcheong province to start a joint training.
South Korea and the DPRK agreed to let their athletes march together under a unified flag at an opening ceremony of the upcoming Winter Olympics and field a joint women's ice hockey team, the first historically unified Olympic team between the two sides.
The 2018 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games are slated to kick off on Feb. 9 at South Korea's eastern county of PyeongChang in Gangwon province.
Meanwhile, an advance team of the DPRK's athlete delegation travelled by land route to South Korea earlier in the day to check arenas and accommodations for athletes, cheerleaders and a demonstration team of Taekwondo, a traditional local martial art.
Seoul and Pyongyang agreed to cheer together for both athletes from the two sides, while the DPRK will send a Taekwondo demonstration team and a 140-member orchestra for concerts in capital Seoul and Gangneung, an east city near PyeongChang.