North Korea to have 22 athletes in five Olympic sports, IOC says

21 January, 2018, 02:24 | Author: Regina Silva
  • North Korea to have 22 athletes in five Olympic sports, IOC says

She also heads the hugely popular girl band Moranbong, which is hand-picked by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Accreditations will also be given to 24 officials and 21 media representatives from the DPRK.

Those include figure skating, short-track speed skating, cross-country skiing and Alpine skiing, as well as hockey, with the International Olympic Committee having approved the entry of the joint team, despite concerns voiced by some hockey federations over fairness. The PyeongChang Olympics are slated to be held from February 9-25.

The route - previously used by former businessmen and workers at the KIC - will now be used for the first time in nearly two years since the closure of the complex in February 2016.

"It was not easy to put this list together, but we wanted to be absolutely sure that only clean athletes from Russian Federation can be invited to participate in the Olympic Winter Games".

The agreement became possible after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said three weeks ago that a team could cross the border to compete.

"Today marks a milestone on a long journey", International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said. The Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 have opened the door for peaceful dialogue on the Korean peninsula.

The two Koreas reached a package of Olympics-related rapprochement deals on Wednesday, including marching together at the opening ceremony and fielding their first joint Olympic team, in women's ice hockey.

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But Seoul and Pyongyang still needed approval from the IOC, as the pact required the suspension of some basic Olympic rules. North Korea will also send 24 officials, including coaches, alongside the athletes in three sports and five disciplines.

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Places for two short-track speed skaters, three cross-country skiers, and three Alpine skiers have been added for the competitions at Pyeongchang.

The IOC had previously approved the two countries jointly participating in Olympic opening and closing ceremonies, something that happened during the Sydney Summer Games in 2000.

Once the meeting concludes, Bach, the NOC Presidents of the two countries and PyeongChang 2018 President Lee will travel to the nearby Olympic Museum to report on the talks.

It builds on a breakthrough in early January when delegations from both countries met on the heavily fortified border dividing the Korean Peninsula for the first time in over two years to discuss Pyongyang's participation in South Korea's Games.

The announcement came after the North notified Seoul late on Friday that it would suspend the team's trip to check the venues for its proposed art performances in the South.

In all other sports, the athletes will compete for their respective NOC in their respective uniforms.

North Korea's planned involvement in Pyeongchang is viewed as a sign of easing tensions over its nuclear and missile program.


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