North and South Korea hold talks on Asian Games cooperation

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) Athletes from the rival Koreas will march together under a single flag in the opening and closing ceremonies of the upcoming Asian Games in Indonesia, officials said Monday, in another tension-easing step since last week’s summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Sports officials from two countries also agreed in talks at a border village to field combined teams in some unspecified events at the Asian Games, which begin in August, South Korea’s Sports Ministry said in a statement.

It said the two Koreas also decided to hold friendly basketball matches in Pyongyang and Seoul in the coming months. Kim proposed the matches in an earlier summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, according to South Korean sports officials.

Trump and Kim met last Tuesday in Singapore in their countries’ first-ever summit. Kim reaffirmed a vague commitment to work toward the ”complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” while Trump promised to provide security guarantees to North Korea and suspend joint military drills with South Korea as long as negotiations with the North continue in ”good faith.”

Some say the one-day summit helped extend a temporary detente on the Korean Peninsula, but others say it was light on substance and Trump made too many concessions to North Korea.

Two days after the summit, military generals from the Koreas held rare talks and agreed to restore cross-border military communication channels. The two countries plan to hold a series of talks in the coming days on resuming reunions of families divided by the 1950-53 Korean War, reconnecting severed cross-border railway and road connections, and establishing a liaison office in the North.

The current detente began in January when Kim expressed his willingness to send a delegation to the South Korean Winter Olympics the following month. The Koreas formed their first joint Olympic team in women’s hockey and their athletes paraded together in the opening ceremony for the first time in 11 years.