International Olympic Committee to decide on N.Korea in 2018 Winter Games

Pyongyang Suggests Sending Performance Group to Olympics - Reports

International Olympic Committee to decide on N.Korea in 2018 Winter Games

"It appears that the North wants to discuss various practical matters related to an art troupe's visit as a priority", the ministry said in a statement, adding that the government would respond after reviewing the North's proposal.

South Korea has proposed working-level talks with North Korea on the latter's participation in the Winter Olympics set for next month, the South's unification ministry said on Friday (12/01).

The South has also offered to combine with the North for the opening and closing ceremonies, with the two countries marching together under a unified flag.

International Olympic Committee to decide on N.Korea in 2018 Winter Games

A joint march at the opening ceremony would be a stunning statement for the so-dubbed "Peace Olympics", which will open about 80 kms from the heavily fortified Korean border on February 9.

Following the first inter-Korean talks this week in more than two years, the two sides had agreed to hold talks on January 20, hosted by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

On Jan 20, both sides will meet at the IOC's Lausanne headquarters to discuss details of their participation.

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It isn't clear which North Korean athletes will take advantage of wildcard entries reportedly under consideration by the IOC. Cross-country skiers and speed skaters are understood to be among those who could benefit. The deal marks the first time that athletes from the North will compete in a South Korean Olympics, as North Korea boycotted the 1988 Olympics in Seoul.

The women's ice hockey teams in the North and South aren't unfamiliar with each other. South Korea are grouped with Sweden, Switzerland and Japan in the women's tournament.

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