N. Korea Unresponsive as Deadline Looms for Joint Team in Women's Field Hockey

Write : 2019-05-21 15:56:38 Update : 2019-05-21 16:38:35

N. Korea Unresponsive as Deadline Looms for Joint Team in Women's Field Hockey

Plans to field a joint inter-Korean team in women's field hockey for next year's Summer Olympics in Tokyo may not come to fruition as North Korea remains unresponsive.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, South Korea's Sports Minister Park Yang-woo said the final roster for women's field hockey needs to be submitted by Thursday and that if Pyongyang does not respond by then, South Korea has no choice but to compete on its own in Tokyo. 

Field hockey is one of four sporting events the two Koreas had agreed to form joint teams for next year's Olympics.

Park promised efforts to persuade North Korea through various channels to continue inter-Korean exchanges.

He said attempts to field unified teams will resume once there is progress made in talks with the International Olympic Committee and global sport governing bodies.

South Korea's women's field hockey team is currently training for the International Hockey Federation's Series Finals slated for next month. At minimum, a second place finish secures a ticket to compete in the Olympic preliminaries in October.

In the preliminary stage, 14 countries will compete for seven tickets to advance to the Olympics main round.

North Korean athletes were set to join their South Korean counterparts in April or May for joint training but the North has not yet responded.

The two Koreas had agreed in February at the IOC headquarters in Switzerland to form single teams for the Tokyo games in women's field hockey, judo, rowing and women's basketball.

[Photo : YONHAP News]

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