Korea's joint team defeated Indonesia ©Getty Images

The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has praised the cooperation between North and South Korea at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang which begin on Saturday (August 18).

It comes after the combined Korean women's basketball team beat hosts Indonesia 108-40 in their first match at the Gelora Bung Karno sports complex.

Both nations, who are still technically at war, will also join forces in lightweight rowing and dragonboat racing at the event in the two host cities.

They are also expected to march jointly at the Opening Ceremony, as they did at the Pyeognchang 2018 Winter Olympics in the South in February.

Sporting officials have been quick to praise sport's role in bringing the two countries together after years of tension on the Korean Peninsula.

The basketball side played under the letters "COR" and used the unified Korean flag as some team sports have already got underway at the Games.

The Presidents of both National Olympic Committees (NOC) - Lee Kee-heung from the Korean Sport and Olympic Committee and North Korean counterpart Kim Il-guk - sat alongside each other to watch the game as the host nation were brushed aside.

Three players from the North were involved, including the game's top-scorer Ro Suk Yong who tallied 22.

A large group of visiting fans waved flags reading "Asian Games Jakarta Palembang 2018 - One Dream, One Korea".

"We are very proud and happy that the Asian Games can contribute to the peace process on the Korean peninsula," said the OCA's director general Husain Al Musallam.

"The unified Korea team made history by competing together for the first time at the Asian Games and we are looking forward to seeing the other teams in action in the coming days.

"The women's basketball game proved the power of sport to unite people.

Fans cheer on the joint Korean team in Jakarta ©Getty Images
Fans cheer on the joint Korean team in Jakarta ©Getty Images

"It was not only the players from North Korea and South Korea who were together, but also the officials and the supporters. 

"To see the Presidents of the two NOCs sitting alongside each other in the VIP area was a very significant moment.

"The OCA will do everything to support and encourage further cooperation between the two Koreas in the hopes of a lasting peace process for all the people on the Korean Peninsula."

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during a visit to the secretive state in March.

The pair watched a football match together at May Day Stadium in capital city Pyongyang and discussed bringing the country more into the international sporting fold.

Both Koreas formed a joint women's ice hockey team at Pyeongchang 2018 after Kim made a surprise New Year's Day announcement that his country would be prepared to compete at the Games across the border.

The build-up to the Olympics had featured strained rhetoric between Kim and United States President Donald Trump over North Korea's nuclear programme and missile launches.

Trump and Kim have since met at a historic summit and there is an uneasy hope for peace.

Bach last week expressed disappointment after confirmation that the United Nations had rejected an exemption to sanctions for sporting equipment being sent to North Korea.