KSOC has appointed co-leaders ©Getty Images

The newly formed Korean Sport and Olympic Committee (KSOC) has appointed two co-leaders.

The organisation, expected to come into operation on March 27, follows a merger between the Korean Olympic Committee (KOC) and the Korean Council of Sport for All (KOCOSA).

Both parties met with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne last Friday (March 4) with the aim of creating one body to administer over sport at both an elite and at a grassroots level.

Now, Kim Jung-haeng, the KOC President, and Kang Young-joong, the KOCOSA head, have been appointed as co-leaders of the new body.

The decision was made during a meeting of KSOC founders in South Korea’s capital Seoul.

Concerns had been raised that the merger could threaten the independence of the KOC from the Government, with the IOC having strict rules on anything it sees as political interference.

The merger also comes at a key time for South Korean sport, with the Winter Olympics being held in Pyeongchang in 2018.

It is hoped the move will boost Korean sport from grassroots to elite level
It is hoped the move will boost Korean sport from grassroots to elite level ©Getty Images

According to the South Korean Sports Ministry, the IOC initially sent a letter to the KOC suggesting the two bodies postpone the move, preferably until after this year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The meeting in Lausanne was more positive, however, with the IOC then announcing that they backed the move.

"All parties came to the conclusion that the merger of the KOC and KOCOSA will have a very positive impact, and that is a major and historic step for the development of the Olympic Movement and sport in general in Korea," an IOC statement said.

As well as the IOC, the meeting was attended by representatives from the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF).

The KOC oversees elite sport in the country, with KOCOSA looking after matters regarding the general population with responsibilities including promoting a healthy lifestyle.

Ahn Yang-ok, head of a 11-member committee preparing for the merger, told South Korean news agency Yonhap that the move will break the barrier between elite and everyday sports, and will serve as "a major milestone" in the development of sport in the country.