South Korea's squad for the 2018 Asian Games have been told by Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon they are helping contribute to the peace effort with their neighbours in the North ©KSOC

South Korea's Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon has told his country's athletes that the world will be impressed at how they are helping to contribute towards reconciliation with their neighobours in the North during this month's Asian Games.

North and South Korea are likely to be a focal point of the Games following the recent summit between the North's leader Kim Jong-un and United States President Donald Trump in Singapore.

Ministers from the two Koreas agreed in April to push for a unified delegation from both countries to parade together in the Opening Ceremony at the Asian Games, due to take place at the 75,000-capacity Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta on August 18.

The two countries have so far agreed to field teams in five-a-side women's basketball, men's and women's dragon boat and men's and women's rowing at the Asian Games, which Jakarta is co-hosting with Palembang, and is due to end on September 2. 

They will compete under the title "Korea".

"Obviously, it'd be important to post good results," Lee told South Korean press agency Yonhap News. 

"But I think the people will be more impressed with our athletes' hard work, dedication and relentless spirit."

South Korea's Sports Minister Do Jong-whan echoed Lee's thoughts when he visited the country's athletes at a training camp where spoke with players on the unified Korean women's basketball team.

South Korea's Sports Minister Do Jong-whan meets a member of the unified Korean women's basketball camp ©KSOC
South Korea's Sports Minister Do Jong-whan meets a member of the unified Korean women's basketball camp ©KSOC

The squad is made up of nine South Koreans and three North Koreans.

"I am happy to see that South and North Korea have come together to compete as one team, and the people are all behind you," Do told them, according to Yonhap News. 

"I want to thank you for leading the way toward prosperity and harmony."

Jong Song-sim, the team's assistant coach from the North, claimed the Asian Games will be an opportunity for the Koreas to show the world how strong they can be when united.

"We may not have much time left until the Asian Games, but we can win the gold medal if we can all come together," Jong said. 

Korea are the top seeds for the tournament and are in Group X along with Chinese Taipei, Indonesia, Kazakhstan and India.

They are due to play their opening match against hosts Indonesia at the Gelora Bung Karno Sports Complex in Jakarta on August 15 - three days before the official Opening Ceremony. 

South Korea won the tournament at Incheon four years ago, beating China 70-64 in the final, to claim the gold medal for a fourth time.