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2 Koreas Talk about Olympic Cooperation Ahead of IOC Meeting

2 Koreas Talk about Olympic Cooperation Ahead of IOC Meeting

Tuesday, 16 January 2018 09:38 PM

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The two Koreas are meeting Wednesday for the third time in about 10 days to continue their discussions on Olympics cooperation, days ahead of talks with the IOC on North Korean participation in the upcoming Winter Games in the South.

A flurry of Olympics-related meetings has provided a tentative thaw in long-strained ties between the Koreas. But the North's reluctance to discuss its nuclear weapons program is raising skepticism over how long this mood of reconciliation will last.

The Koreas have been discussing fielding a joint women's hockey team and having their athletes march under a "unification flag" depicting the Korean Peninsula, instead of their respective national flags, during the opening ceremony for the Feb. 9-25 Games in Pyeongchang.

Such steps require IOC approval. The International Olympic Committee is to meet with sports and government officials from the two Koreas and officials from the Pyeongchang organizing committee at its headquarters in Switzerland on Saturday.

Wednesday's talks, in the uninhabited village of Panmunjom inside the Demilitarized Zone that divides their countries, were expected to go over these issues ahead of the IOC meeting. Other likely topics include what route the North Korean delegation would take to South Korea and how much financial support South Korea would provide them.

A pair of North Korean figure skaters qualified for the Olympics, but North Korea missed a deadline to confirm their participation. The IOC said recently it has "kept the door open" for North Korea to take part in the games.

South Korea also wants the IOC to allow the hockey team's Olympic roster to be expanded so that North Korean players can be added without removing any of the South Korean players. If a joint hockey squad is realized, it would be the Koreas' first unified team in an Olympics.

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The two Koreas are meeting Wednesday for the third time in about 10 days to continue their discussions on Olympics cooperation, days ahead of talks with the IOC on North Korean participation in the upcoming Winter Games in the South.A flurry of Olympics-related meetings has...
AS,Koreas,Tensions
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2018-38-16
Tuesday, 16 January 2018 09:38 PM
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