The new side, based on players from the South Korean national team, is to play in the Mestis league from the 2013-14 season.
Some Korean players are to join an existing Mestis club as early as next season. They will play for the Kiekko Vantaa team, with the cost of their flights, accommodation and salaries met by South Korean sponsors.
The idea is to improve the South Korean national team ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympics, which they will host in Pyeongchang.
That means they will automatically qualify to enter a team in the ice hockey tournament. The process of raising the standard of South Korean hockey is already underway, as the team was promoted to IIHF Division 1A this year, the second highest level of international ice hockey.
The South Koreans are not the first national team to try to join Mestis. Negotiations with Estonia collapsed due to the Estonian federation’s desire to play home games in Tallinn. South Korea will, on the other hand, play both home and away matches in Finland. Their home base has not yet been decided.
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