HEADLINE Two sides to form joint women's ice hockey team

HEADLINE

Two sides to form joint women's ice hockey team

AFP

06:59, January 19, 2018

South Korean delegation (L) and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) delegation hold talks at the truce village of Panmunjom, Jan. 17, 2018. Working-level talks between South Korea and DPRK were underway Wednesday at the truce village of Panmunjom to discuss the DPRK's dispatch of athletes to the South Korea-hosted Winter Olympics, Seoul's Unification Ministry said. (Xinhua/South Korean Unification Ministry)


North Korea agreed Wednesday to send a 550-member delegation to next month's Winter Games in the South. 
The two Koreas on Wednesday also agreed to form a united women's hockey team for next month's Winter Olympics in the South, the latest in a flurry of cross-border talks.
Following a working-level meeting with the South, the North said it will dispatch 230 cheerleaders and a 30-strong taekwondo delegation as well as a 150-member delegation for the Paralympics. 
The two sides also announced that their athletes would make a joint entrance carrying a pro-unification flag, according to Yonhap news agency.
A North Korean delegation will visit the South next week to review the facilities at the Games venue, Yonhap reported.
South Korea also agreed to send its athletes to the North's Masikryong ski resort for training ahead of the Pyeongchang Olympics that runs through February 5 to 25.
North Korea's Olympic delegation, athletes, cheering squad, taekwondo delegation and reporters will travel by land through Kaesong, which lies on the main road from Pyongyang to Seoul.
Nuclear-armed Pyongyang agreed last week to send athletes, high-level officials, performers and others to the Pyeongchang Games, taking place just 80 kilometres (50 miles) south of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that divides the peninsula.
Seoul has long sought to proclaim the event a "peace Olympics" in the face of tensions over the North's weapons programmes - which have seen it subjected to multiple UN Security Council sanctions - and the discussions represent a marked improvement.
Three officials from each side took part and the results will be discussed by both Koreas with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Saturday.
The IOC must approve extra Olympic slots for the North's athletes after they failed to qualify or missed deadlines to register.
On Monday, the North agreed to send a 140-member art troupe for the Pyeongchang Olympics.

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