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North and South Korea agreed on Wednesday to march their athletes together under one flag at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics next month and to field a joint women’s ice hockey team. It was the most dramatic gesture of reconciliation between them in a decade.

South Korea, host of the games, has said it hopes such a partnership in sports could contribute to a political thaw after years of high tensions. It came even as the prospect of war over the North’s nuclear and missile tests has grown especially acute.

The Games will begin on Feb. 9 in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and the women’s ice-hockey squad will be the first combined Korean team for the Olympics, and the first unified team since their athletes played together for an international table-tennis championship and a youth soccer tournament in 1991.

The two countries’ delegations will march at the opening ceremony behind a “unified Korea” flag that shows an undivided Korean Peninsula, negotiators from both sides said in a joint news release after talks at the border village of Panmunjom. The North will send 230 supporters to the Games, and negotiators agreed that supporters of both Koreas would root together for athletes from both countries.

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North and South Korean athletes marched together during the opening ceremony of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.CreditAmy Sancetta/Associated Press

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