Olympics: N. Korea says work cut out after talks with IOC

Olympics: N. Korea says work cut out after talks with IOC

North Korea, however, has yet to give a response to the South Korean proposal, according to the ministry, which handles inter-Korean affairs. A senior official with the Korean Sport & Olympic Committee (KSOC) said on January 12 that the two sides had "submitted a joint proposal to the IOC to form a unified women's ice hockey team".

South Korea's unification ministry said on Saturday that North Korea has proposed working-level talks on the prospects of sending its performance "art" group to the winter olympics held in the South.

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.

The White House said Wednesday that Pence will attend the opening ceremonies of the games, scheduled for February 9 in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

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The Unification Ministry said the message signed by Minister Cho Myoung-gyon was sent via the Panmunjeom liaison channel on Friday afternoon to North Korea's chief delegate to the recent high-level inter-Korean talks Ri Son-gwon who is chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland.

There was no immediate response from North Korea to the proposals.

"I warmly welcome the joint proposals by the governments of the ROK and DPRK, which have been applauded by so many other governments worldwide", Bach said after the four-way meeting was announced. Cross-country skiers and speed skaters are understood to be among those who could benefit.

They previously formed unified teams in 1991, at the World Table Tennis Championships and the FIFA World Youth Championship both held that year. "Around six to eight North Korean players appear set to join", said KSOC president Lee Kee-heung. The IOC and IIHF are reportedly working to explain the situation to member countries and ask for their understanding. South Korea is grouped with Sweden, Switzerland and Japan in the women's tournament.

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