By Duncan Mackay

North Korea competed at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon ©AFP/Getty ImagesNorth Korea have confirmed their participation at this year's Summer Universiade in Gwangju but hopes that a united Korean team may take part in the Games have faded.

South Korea have ruled out the possibility because of the on-going tensions between the two countries, who are technically still at war.

A South Korean Government spokesman has claimed it is "not appropriate" for the two countries to compete alongside one another.  

It had been claimed that the proposal for a unified Korean team for Gwangju 2015 fell in line with the peace concept, one of the four EPIC concepts that the event aspires to achieve, standing for Environment, Peace, IT and Culture.

Gwangju 2015 and the United Nations Office for Sport and Development for Peace (UNOSDP) had signed a joint project agreement two years ago, which included the formation of a joint Korean team, and it had received official approval from the International University Sports Federation (FISU).

North Korea plans to send a team of 108 athletes to the biennial Games, due to be held from July 3 until 14. 

North Korea may also send a squad of cheerleaders to provide support for the team. 

North Korea sent a team of 273 athletes and officials to last year's Asian Games in Incheon ©AFP/Getty ImagesNorth Korea sent a team of 273 athletes and officials to last year's Asian Games in Incheon ©AFP/Getty Images

North Korea a team of 273 athletes and coaches to last year's Asian Games in Incheon, where they finished seventh overall with a total of 36 medals, including seven gold.

Plans to send a cheerleading squad to those Games was dropped, however, after the Government in Pyongyang claimed they had received a negative reaction from Seoul about the idea. 

But the North Korean squad received a warm welcome from the crowd during the Opening Ceremony. 

Discussions about the logistics of North Korea's participation in the Games is expected to be discussed when a team of officials attends the Head of Delegations meeting in Gwangju, which is due to take place between April 11 and 15. 

More 200 delegates representing 60 countries will attend the event.

In addition, the meeting will also be in conjunction the draw for the six team sports - basketball, volleyball, water polo, football, baseball, and handball - is also due to take place alongside the meeting. 

North Korea are due to compete in the women's handball and women's football. 

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
August 2013: Historic unified Korean team in sight for Gwangju 2015 as countdown officially begins
July 2013: Mayor of Gwangju hopes for united Korea team for 2015 Universiade
October 2012: Gwangju 2015 Universiade chief calls for a united Korean team