Talks under way to finalize North Korea participation in Winter Olympics

North Korea to send 22 athletes to compete in 3 sports at 2018 Olympics in South Korea – IOC

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"I am very much satisfied", said Chang.

South Korea's ruling and opposition parties clashed on Sunday over the formation of a unified, inter-Korean team, as Seoul and Pyongyang are speeding up discussions about the details of North Korea's participation in the 2018 Winter Games.

Maintaining the atmosphere for inter-Korean talks is vital to peacefully resolving the North Korean nuclear issue, he said.

"North Korean athletes took part in the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, along with a North Korean cheering squad, while a high-ranking North Korean delegation watched the games".

North Korea had failed to register for the Olympiad, and only two athletes qualified - a figure-skating duo who have trained in Canada - but the International Olympic Committee made an "exceptional decision", Bach said.

A dozen South Korean officials are scheduled to make a three-day visit starting Tuesday to the Kumgangsan mountain area and Masikryong Ski Resort in the North's eastern area.

The activists claimed the February 9-25 Olympic Games were turning into a North Korean event that would help it gain global recognition as a nuclear power.

"Such an agreement would have seemed impossible only a few weeks ago", he added. "Our meeting today shows that Olympic sport always builds bridges". "The Winter Olympic Games Pyeongchang 2018 are hopefully opening the door for a brighter future on the Korean peninsula", Bach said, according to agencies.

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But she doubts this will change North Korea's nuclear posture.

The 22 North Korean athletes mark more North Koreans at a Winter Olympics than the last six Winter Games combined. Not only have the 22 DPRK athletes missed the October 30 deadline to register, but the head of the South Korean women's hockey team says that such a late addition of team members could prove a disadvantage to the team's chemistry.

Two additional places have been allocated in short track speedskating, the International Olympic Committee said, with one going to Jong Kwang-bom and the other to Choe Un-song, both men.

Han Chun-gyong, Pak Il-chol and Kim Ryon-hyang will all compete in cross-country skiing events.

The IOC has approved that delegations from the two countries be marching together as one under the name "Korea" at the Opening Ceremony and led into the Olympic Stadium by the Korean Unification Flag, carried by two athletes from the two NOCs respectively.

Daily Mail UK reports that the two Koreas have already begun dialogues at their shared border to work out the intricacies related to the pact.

At the time, Kim said he would be willing to send a delegation to the Olympic Games being held in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

South Korean media have focused excessively on delegation leader Hyon Song Wol, a former singer and a senior member of the ruling Workers' Party.

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