North and South Korea Will March Under Unified Flag During Olympics Opening Ceremony

| JAN 17, 2018 | 1:56 PM

The divided Korean peninsula will see a rare moment of unity during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Olympics, where both North and South Korea will march under the same flag, according to CNN.

The two sides — which recently held their first direct talks in years — will form a joint Olympic women's ice hockey team, according to the CNN, as the international community continues pressuring the North to tamp down its nuclear program.

While the new year started with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un warning the United States of his country's nuclear capacity, it also included the North agreeing to talks and to sending a delegation to the Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, next month.

Wednesday's news was the latest sign of hope for diplomacy with the North, who, as recently as the end of last year, indicated a joint U.S.-South Korean military exercise made war inevitable.

Despite many attempts by the United States and the international community to use economic sanctions to pressure the North's regime into giving up its nuclear ambitions, the rogue nation continued testing ballistic missiles at the end of last year.

But last week, the White House indicated its hope that the North's Olympics participation would help persuade them to comply with international demands.

“The North Korean participation is an opportunity for the regime to see the value of ending international isolation by denuclearizing,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

Both Vice President Mike Pence and his wife will attend the Olympics as well, something the administration intended to “reinforce the strong U.S. presence on the Korean Peninsula and send a clear signal to the North Korean regime."

That aligned with Trump's apparent stance that the United States should remain tough in the face of North Korean defiance. In a tweet from earlier this month, for example, the president credited his firm stance with spurring the North's talks with the South.