Koreas fail to agree on fielding joint team for Beijing Olympics

Updated: February 13, 2007, 8:31 PM ET
Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea -- Sports officials from North and South Korea failed to reach any agreement Tuesday on forming a single team for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, South Korea's Olympic committee said.

During the one-day meeting in the North Korean border city of Kaesong, the two sides failed to agree on how to compose a unified team, the committee said in a statement.

South Korea has insisted athletes should be selected based on performance, while the North wants equal representation.

"We confirmed the difference in our opinions and have decided to meet again for further talks with better proposals," the committee said in the statement.

However, the committee did not say when they would meet again.

North and South Korea have made little headway on fielding a single team for the Beijing Olympics since their agreement to do so in 2005. The countries have never fielded a single team for an Olympics.

Athletes from both countries marched together at the opening ceremonies of the 2000 and 2004 Olympics, and at the 2002 and 2006 Asian Games, but competed separately.

The Koreas remain technically at war since the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a cease-fire, not a peace treaty, but their ties have warmed following a 2000 summit between their leaders.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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