Korean Sport and Olympic Committee (KSOC) President Lee Kee-heung has cast doubt on the possibility of North and South Korea competing on joint teams at this year's Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, admitting it will be "difficult" to bring the two countries together in certain events.
Lee is due to discuss the prospect of unified teams at the Games with Olympic Council of Asia President Sheikh Ahmad Al
The KSOC head told South Korean news agency Yonhap that he was confident the two Koreas would march together at the Opening Ceremony in Jakarta on August 18 but said fielding joint teams would "not be so easy".
Basketball, canoeing, gymnastics, judo, rowing, soft tennis and table tennis have already expressed interest in the idea.
The respective governing bodies for each sport all responded positively to a preliminary survey conducted by the South Korean Sports Ministry.
The Korean Canoe Federation said they would try to form a unified Korean team in the dragon boat race and hold training sessions on both sides of the border.
International Federations responsible for the running of each sport would have to grant their backing and, while this would be very likely given the positive publicity it would bring, public and athlete support may be harder to muster.
Athletes in sports such as judo have also already been selected, adding further challenges for organisers.
"I don't foresee problems with a joint march, but having unified teams will not be so easy," Lee said.
"In sports such as soft tennis and judo, we've already selected athletes for the Asian Games.
"Unless the Asian federations of these sports agree to expand entries, bringing the two Koreas together will be difficult to do."
Such a move would follow the initiative that saw a unified women's ice hockey team compete at the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang in February.
A single Korean team also participated at the 1991 World Table Tennis Championships in Japan and at the FIFA World Youth Championship in Portugal in the same year.
North and South Korea refused to play each other in the quarter-finals of the World Table Tennis Championships in Halmstad last week, instead forming a unified team with the backing of the International Table Tennis Federation.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un pledged to gradually reduce weapons on both sides during a meeting last month.
They also agreed to push towards turning the armistice that ended the Korean War in 1953 into a peace treaty this year, in another example of the easing of tensions on the Korean Peninsula.