South Korea proposes talks on North's participation in winter Olympics

Aubrey Yates
January 13, 2018

This offer comes on the heels of a landmark deal between the warring nations that allows North Korea to send a delegation of athletes, fans, and high-ranking government officials to the South for the upcoming Olympics in Pyeongchang. Reuters reported on Friday that South Korea has offered to combine their women's ice hockey team with North Korea's team, with the team competing jointly.

The IOC has said it will host a four-party meeting to decide on the participation of North Korea in the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games to be held in South Korea in February.

A joint march at the opening ceremony would be a stunning statement for the Games dubbed the "Peace Olympics", which will open about 50 miles (80 kilometres) from the heavily fortified Korean border on February 9.

The ministry said the message was signed by North Korea's chief delegate to the recent high-level inter-Korean talks Ri Son-gwon and addressed to Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon.

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South Korea proposes unified Olympic women's ice hockey team with North Korea
North Korea has yet to comment on the South's offer, which is in the spirit of the original deal and even goes beyond it. Vice President Mike Pence and Karen Pence will lead the US delegation to the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

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Yonhap said South Korea has asked the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Hockey Federation for permission to expand the roster of its women's hockey team, to bring in North Korean players.

The sole North Korean IOC member made the comments before flying back to Pyongyang after visiting Lausanne, where the IOC is headquartered.

The meeting would have to take a series of essential decisions including the number and names of athletes and officials from the North since the deadlines for registration havey expired. South Korea is grouped with Sweden, Switzerland and Japan in the women's tournament.

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