The South Korean pair of Kam Alex Kang Chan and Kim Kyu-eun shared the same ice with North Korea's Kim Ju Sik and Ryom Tae Ok for the first time. Before training earlier this week, Kam (left) and Kim (right) used the same locker room and put on skates early so they had spare time together 

North and South Korean skaters pose for a smiling selfie

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North and South Korean Olympic skaters have posed for a smiling selfie after sharing the ice for the first time. 

The picture posted on Instagram illustrates yet another moment of reconciliation between the rivals, whose decades-long animosities could easily erupt again after the Pyeongchang Olympics.

The South Korean pair of Kam Alex Kang Chan and Kim Kyu-eun took part in a training session with North Korea’s Kim Ju Sik and Ryom Tae Ok earlier this week. 

Kam, 22, proposed taking a selfie with Kim, 25, when the pair were using the same locker room.  He called Kim ‘hyeong,’ a Korean term used to refer to an elder brother or friend.

The South Korean pair of Kam Alex Kang Chan and Kim Kyu-eun shared the same ice with North Korea's Kim Ju Sik and Ryom Tae Ok for the first time. Before training earlier this week, Kam (left) and Kim (right) used the same locker room and put on skates early so they had spare time together 

The South Korean pair of Kam Alex Kang Chan and Kim Kyu-eun shared the same ice with North Korea's Kim Ju Sik and Ryom Tae Ok for the first time. Before training earlier this week, Kam (left) and Kim (right) used the same locker room and put on skates early so they had spare time together 

The South Korean pair of Kam Alex Kang Chan and Kim Kyu-eun shared the same ice with North Korea’s Kim Ju Sik and Ryom Tae Ok for the first time. Before training earlier this week, Kam (left) and Kim (right) used the same locker room and put on skates early so they had spare time together 

North Korea's Ryom Tae Ok and Kim Ju Sik (centre) practice next to South Korea's Kim Kyu-eun (front right), and Alex Kam during a pairs figure skating training session prior to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea

North Korea's Ryom Tae Ok and Kim Ju Sik (centre) practice next to South Korea's Kim Kyu-eun (front right), and Alex Kam during a pairs figure skating training session prior to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea

North Korea’s Ryom Tae Ok and Kim Ju Sik (centre) practice next to South Korea’s Kim Kyu-eun (front right), and Alex Kam during a pairs figure skating training session prior to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea

‘I stated.something like ‘Hey, Ju Sik hyeong, let’s take a photo together!” Kam stated.after training Tuesday. ‘I posted that photo for fun … and to mark the Olympics.’

The photo recalls a famous 2016 selfie taken by two North and South Korean gymnasts at the Rio Olympics – something that IOC President Thomas Bach described as a ‘great gesture.’

Similar amicable interactions are visible among the North and South Korean female hockey players, who have formed the rivals’ first joint Olympic team.

The team of 12 North Koreans and 23 South Koreans was composed last month as the Koreas agreed upon a package of reconciliation steps following a year of heightened nuclear tensions that triggered fears of war on the Korean Peninsula.

North Korea's Kim Ju Sik (right) skates next to South Korea's Kim Kyueun (left) and Kam Alex Kang Chan during a joint training session

North Korea's Kim Ju Sik (right) skates next to South Korea's Kim Kyueun (left) and Kam Alex Kang Chan during a joint training session

North Korea’s Kim Ju Sik (right) skates next to South Korea’s Kim Kyueun (left) and Kam Alex Kang Chan during a joint training session

Many experts have raised worries about teamwork, and a survey showed a majority of South Korean opposed the joint team. Why? They thought it would deprive South Korean athletes of playing time.

At the height of their Cold War rivalry, sports were often an alternate battlefield between the Koreas. North Korean medalists often ignored South Korean competitors who extended their hands for handshakes at podiums. North Korea also boycotted the 1986 Asian Games and the 1988 Olympics, both held in Seoul.

Since the Cold War, though, the countries have sometimes used sports as a way to thaw relations.

That was certainly at play Monday when four North and South Korean hockey players who didn’t take part in the session took a selfie and laughed together. Also grabbing attention: earlier photos of birthday parties thrown for two North Korean players, and a dictionary aimed at overcoming a linguistic divide.

‘Hockey really does bring people together,’ stated.the team’s Canadian coach, Sarah Murray. ‘On our team, they are just players. You know … there is no North Korean or South Korean. They are all wearing the same jersey. We are all on the same team.’

On Thursday, in another unusual spectacle, North Korea’s national anthem was played and its flag was hoisted alongside an Olympic flag during a boisterous welcoming ceremony for athletes from the North. South Korea has strict security laws that normally ban the playing of the North’s anthem and the raising of its flag .

 Similar amicable interactions are visible among the North and South Korean female hockey players, who have formed the rivals' first joint Olympic team. The rival skaters are pictured practicing together

 Similar amicable interactions are visible among the North and South Korean female hockey players, who have formed the rivals' first joint Olympic team. The rival skaters are pictured practicing together

 Similar amicable interactions are visible among the North and South Korean female hockey players, who have formed the rivals’ first joint Olympic team. The rival skaters are pictured practicing together

The feel-good sparks will peak during the opening ceremony on Friday, when athletes of the Koreas will march together under a single 'unification flag' to the tune of 'Arirang' instead of their respective anthems. It will be the first such joint march since 2007 

The feel-good sparks will peak during the opening ceremony on Friday, when athletes of the Koreas will march together under a single 'unification flag' to the tune of 'Arirang' instead of their respective anthems. It will be the first such joint march since 2007 

The feel-good sparks will peak during the opening ceremony on Friday, when athletes of the Koreas will march together under a single ‘unification flag’ to the tune of ‘Arirang’ instead of their respective anthems. It will be the first such joint march since 2007 

A group of South Korean B-boys, or break dancers, twisted their bodies and flipped relentlessly after walking into the center of a group of North Korean athletes. A North Korean band played the Korean folk tune ‘Arirang.’ North Korean athletes hummed to themselves before starting to dance. South Korean dancers joined them, triggering a barrage of camera flashes.

‘I feel so good,’ North Korean figure skating coach Kim Hyon Son stated.after the ceremony. ‘I want to see both North and South Korean people being pleased.’

The feel-good sparks will peak during the opening ceremony on Friday, when athletes of the Koreas will march together under a single ‘unification flag’ to the tune of ‘Arirang’ instead of their respective anthems. It will be the first such joint march since 2007.

It’s unclear what other Olympic moments involving the two countries could make news, particularly because the hockey team isn’t expected to win a medal.

‘Quite strangely, no medal, no issue,’ stated.Jung Moon-hyun, a sports science professor at Chungnam National University in South Korea. ‘Whether North Korea does some action that pours cold water on the Olympic (reconciliation mood) is something to think about.’

Winter Olympics 2018: The key events in Pyeongchang

Nearly 3,000 athletes from 92 nations, more than 100 gold medals up for grabs and the prospect of a unified Korean ice hockey team.

The eyes of the world will be on Pyeongchang on Friday as South Korea’s Winter Olympics finally gets underway.

Here are some of the key events and when to tune in and watch them (times in GMT):

Preliminary rounds: February 8, from 2am

While the Games officially kicks off on Friday, the sporting action actually starts a day before, with mixed curling and the qualification round for the men’s individual normal hill ski jumping. 

Opening Ceremony: February 9, from 10.30am

The two-hour showpiece is expected to kick start the coldest Games since Lillehammer in 1994 with temperatures dropping to -10C with wind chill.

Spectators will be handed warm clothing while Pyeongchang’s $78million roofless stadium – temporarily built for the opening and closing ceremonies –  has been fitted with 40 huge heaters as well as wind shields amid growing concerns over the health of the 35,000 fans and athletes attending.

The two-hour showpiece is expected to kick start the coldest Games since Lillehammer in 1994 with temperatures dropping to -10C with wind chill

Television viewers may catch site of this group of North Korean cheerleaders, sent to the South by Kim Jong-un to support North Korea's small selection of competitors

Television viewers may catch site of this group of North Korean cheerleaders, sent to the South by Kim Jong-un to support North Korea's small selection of competitors

Television viewers may catch site of this group of North Korean cheerleaders, sent to the South by Kim Jong-un to support North Korea’s small selection of competitors

Some 35,000 will watch on as athletes competing at the games march into the ‘Parade of Nations’.

The extravaganza will then celebrate Korean culture, pop music, and history while enemies North and South Korea will parade under one flag to signify the theme of the Games – peace. 

Men’s downhill: February 11, from 2am

One of the showpiece events of the Games, with favourites including Beat Feuz of Switzerland, Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway and Max Franz of Austria. 

North and South unify for ‘Korea’ ice hockey team: February 12, 12.10pm

Female hockey players from both North Korea and South Korea make history by joining forces. At 9.10pm local time they will take on Sweden in their opening fixture. 

Female hockey players from both North Korea and South Korea make history by joining forces. At 9.10pm local time they will take on Sweden in their opening fixture.

Female hockey players from both North Korea and South Korea make history by joining forces. At 9.10pm local time they will take on Sweden in their opening fixture.

Female hockey players from both North Korea and South Korea make history by joining forces. At 9.10pm local time they will take on Sweden in their opening fixture.

One of the Games' biggest stars, legendary US snowboarder Shaun White (pictured) - dubbed the Flying Tomato - expected to compete in the men's halfpipe finals

One of the Games' biggest stars, legendary US snowboarder Shaun White (pictured) - dubbed the Flying Tomato - expected to compete in the men's halfpipe finals

One of the Games’ biggest stars, legendary US snowboarder Shaun White (pictured) – dubbed the Flying Tomato – expected to compete in the men’s halfpipe finals

Halfpipe final: February 14, from 1.30am

One of the Games’ biggest stars, legendary US snowboarder Shaun White – dubbed the Flying Tomato –  expected to compete in the men’s halfpipe finals.

Women’s curling: From February 14, coverage starting at 5am

Britain led by Eve Muirhead has strong medal hopes in curling with the competition running throughout the Games 

Ice dancing: February 19, from 3.30am

Always a popular event at the Winter Olympics, the ice dancing will take place at Gangneung Ice Arena. British medal hopes rest on Penny Coomes and Nick Buckland who have been helped by Olympic legends Torvill and Dean.

Always a popular event at the Winter Olympics, the ice dancing will take place at Gangneung Ice Arena. British medal hopes rest on Penny Coomes and Nick Buckland (pictured) who have been helped by Olympic legends Torvill and Dean

Always a popular event at the Winter Olympics, the ice dancing will take place at Gangneung Ice Arena. British medal hopes rest on Penny Coomes and Nick Buckland (pictured) who have been helped by Olympic legends Torvill and Dean

Always a popular event at the Winter Olympics, the ice dancing will take place at Gangneung Ice Arena. British medal hopes rest on Penny Coomes and Nick Buckland (pictured) who have been helped by Olympic legends Torvill and Dean

Women’s Skeleton final: February 17, from 11am

Britain’s Lizzy Yarnold is back to defend her gold medal from Sochi 2014.

Big Air snowboarding: February 19 

Katie Ormerod, 20, leads British hopes in the spectacular Big Air contest, new to the Olympics, as well as slopestyle which takes place on February 11 at 4.30am. can follow in her tracks. 

Katie Ormerod (pictured), 20, leads British hopes in the spectacular Big Air contest, new to the Olympics, as well as slopestyle which takes place on February 11 at 4.30am. can follow in her tracks

Katie Ormerod (pictured), 20, leads British hopes in the spectacular Big Air contest, new to the Olympics, as well as slopestyle which takes place on February 11 at 4.30am. can follow in her tracks

Katie Ormerod (pictured), 20, leads British hopes in the spectacular Big Air contest, new to the Olympics, as well as slopestyle which takes place on February 11 at 4.30am. can follow in her tracks

Closing Ceremony: February 25, from 11am to 1pm

Ivanka Trump is reportedly set to be among the spectators as the games comes to an end. The party is expected to be another tribute to South Korean culture. The Olympic torch will be handed over to the 2020 Summer Olympics host Tokyo.

But Jung stated.even one win by the team will be ‘very meaningful’ news. On Feb. 14, the Korean team faces Japan, which colonized Korea for more than three decades before it split into North and South shortly after World War II.

When the Games end, North and South Korean players will be separated, probably for good. Their governments ban ordinary citizens from exchanging phone calls, letters and emails, so they won’t communicate unless they encounter each other in international competitions.

For now, though, things like congenial selfies will have to be enough. The South Korean media certainly liked the latest one showing Kam and Kim flashing smiles and making peace signs. It was reproduced all over the country.

The Seoul-based Kookmin Ilbo newspaper even gave it a memorable moniker, a sign of hope after generations of Korean division: ‘The icon of new peace.’

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