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North Korea hopes to send art troupe to Olympics, South says


North Korea next week wants to discuss sending an art troupe to next month’s Winter Olympics in South Korea, South Korean officials said Saturday.

Pyongyang hopes to discuss sending athletes to the Games at a subsequent meeting, Seoul’s Unification Ministry said.

Officials from the rival Koreas met earlier this week in the border village of Panmunjom, their first talks in more than two years. At that meeting they agreed to hold military talks and send a North Korean delegation of officials, athletes, cheerleaders, journalists and others to the Olympics.

The Unification Ministry said North Korea wanted to send a delegation headed by the director of the arts and performance bureau of the North’s culture ministry to Monday’s talks. A conductor and two other officials from a North Korean orchestra would also be part of the delegation, the ministry said.

Separately, the International Olympic Committee has proposed a meeting Jan. 20 at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, involving the rival Koreas, to discuss North Korea’s participation at the Games, to be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Feb. 9-25.

In an effort to include North Korea in this year’s Olympics, the IOC has extended the deadline for registering for the Games, Reuters reported.

An IOC spokesperson said, “The IOC will at very short notice continue its talks with all parties concerned so that we can take the necessary decisions about participation and the format of any participation in due time.” 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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