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N.Korean delegation in Switzerland for International Olympic Committee talks

19 January 2018

It was unclear whether the cancellation cast any doubt over the preparations for the North's participation in the Winter Olympics in South Korea's Pyeongchang, an apparent diplomatic breakthrough after months of high tension over the North's nuclear and missile program.

A South Korean official tried to respond to the fears Wednesday. The talks focused on practical matters related to the North's delegation to PyeongChang 2018. The modern Olympic Games were born out of an ideal for peaceful sporting competition amongst nations. "After having taken all this into consideration, the International Olympic Committee will take its final decisions on Saturday in Lausanne".

The last senior visit by North Korean officials was in 2014, aside from talks on the southern side of the DMZ.

A joint men's bobsled team between the two Koreas could be formed for training and track testing ahead of next month's PyeongChang Winter Olympics in the South, the global bobsled governing body has said. Concerns for such a proposal include ramifications of increasing the size of the roster to accommodate North Korean skaters.

"Adding somebody so close to the Olympics is a little bit unsafe just for team chemistry because the girls have been together for so long", head coach Sarah Murray said at South Korea's Incheon International Airport after returning from the team's training camp in the United States.

"This is typical. (North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's) family playbook goes back several decades", Chang said.

So far the IIHF has not returned requests for comment. "They will stay two days, '" said an official of the Unification Ministry. "First they refuse to talk to South Korea". The joint statement said the delegation will total around 150 members. "We are working with them at the moment to see if we can get some of their athletes qualified for the games in Nordic skiing". The line ends just before the DMZ across the border from Kaesong Industrial Complex.

"However, it is also true that the blocked dialogue channel between the South and the North has opened, even on a limited basis".

This photo, carried by North Korea's media on December 31, 2013, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un inspecting the Masikryong Ski Resort on the North's east coast.

North Korea's state media reported, "The Korean people are leading a highly civilized and happy life at the resort built under the meticulous care of supreme leader Kim Jong-un".

"In that spirit, the United States looks forward to participating in the Winter Olympics in South Korea next month", she added. Asked whether he expected North Korea and South Korea to settle outstanding issues at Saturday's talks, he appeared optimistic.

The need for an iron-clad alliance will ensure the latest sanctions against North Korea "will be made to work" and those sanctions are beginning to be felt, she said. But a poll released Thursday suggests that half of South Koreans oppose a joint flag.

"There's no such thing as a "bloody nose" attack", said Duckworth, who returned this week from a trip to South Korea and Japan.

North Korea was already going through the process of selecting its cheer squad before the end of 2017. A North Korea taekwondo demonstration team performed at the 2017 World Taekwondo Championships this summer in Muju, South Korea.

N.Korean delegation in Switzerland for International Olympic Committee talks