IOC hails two Koreas’ handshakes at opening ceremony as ‘historic moment’

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Pyeongchang (South Korea), Feb 10 (IANS) The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Saturday said that representatives of the two Koreas shaking hands at the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics was a “historic moment.”

South Korean President Moon Jae-in was spotted shaking hands with Kim Yo-jong, younger sister of the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, and Kim Yong-nam, North Korea’s ceremonial head of state, after he arrived in the VIP sitting area at the Olympic Stadium in PyeongChang, 180 kilometers of east of Seoul, for the opening ceremony of the 23rd Winter Games on Friday, reports Yonhap news agency.

“It was a historic moment,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams said during a press conference in PyeongChang. “The Olympic Games are about sports, but yesterday was a great symbol and great indications of maybe how things can be.”

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The IOC has been working to arrange North Korea’s participation in the PyeongChang Olympics, the first Winter Games in South Korea. The IOC also allowed the South and the North to have a joint march at the opening ceremony under the Korean Unification Flag.

Although Adams emphasised the Olympic Games are not for politics, he said the opening ceremony for the PyeongChang 2018 had symbolic moments, adding that the ceremony itself was “spectacular” to watch.

“I don’t think the Olympic Games, or the IOC, or the Olympic Movement would think they can solve the problems of the world in an opening ceremony,” he said.

“But the Olympic Games are symbol of how things might be in the world if people who compete can get together and build bridges together. So, it was a great moment,” he added.

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