Koreas talk about Olympic co-operation ahead of IOC meeting

Koreas talk about Olympic co-operation ahead of IOC meeting

Koreas talk about Olympic co-operation ahead of IOC meeting

North Korea has called for further talks on sending its athletes to next month's Pyeongchang Winter Olympics to be held on Wednesday at the truce village of Panmunjom.

"South Korea has agreed to North Korea's proposal to hold working-level talks at 10am at the Peace House (in Panmunjeom) on Jan 17, through the South-North communication channel at 4pm", the ministry said in a statement on Monday.

Pyongyang agreed last week to send athletes, high-level officials and others to the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, easing months of high tensions over its weapons programs.

Although the talks will see participation from all of the nations that supported South Korea in the Korean War with the addition of Japan, the conspicuous absence of both China, North Korea's primary ally, and Russian Federation, who have offered Kim's regime tacit support throughout the heightening tensions, has expanded the diplomatic gap between the USA -led coalition and neighboring military powers in the Pacific.

South Korea are also seeking cooperation from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Ice Hockey Federation to increase the squad size.

Despite the ongoing talks, a North Korean editorial on Monday suggested that Pyongyang may reverse its decision to participate in the games if "ill-boding remarks" by Seoul continue.

In a report on North Korean human rights submitted to the United Nations General Assembly in September, the UN special rapporteur on North Korean human rights Tomas Ojea Quintana said some of the women might not have agreed to defect.

"The south Korean chief executive should not be dreaming", the state-run KCNA news agency said in an editorial, accusing Moon of "brownnosing" the United States.

"He even made such rubbish that the North was led to dialogue to open up the chapter for 'the North's denuclearization, ' not for the improvement of the South-North relations".

South Korea wants the International Olympic Committee to allow the hockey team's roster to be expanded to make room for North Korean players.

"Many people worry that North Korea is taking advantage of the Pyeongchang Olympics to publicize its political propaganda", parliament member Kim Ki-sun said on Monday. The letters read "Peace bobsleigh and Peace on Korean peninsular".

Sports minister Do Jong-hwan has defended the proposal for a joint ice hockey team, arguing that by expanding the roster, no South Korean athletes would be left out. The Korean female hockey teams have a similar ability level (South Korea is 21st and North Korea 25th), and since South Korea qualified for the Olympics as the hosting country, the team is not expected to win a medal in the Olympics.

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