International Olympic Committee 'considering joint Korea hockey team'

Annette Crawford
January 13, 2018

Chang also told reporters at Beijing's worldwide airport that "the IOC is likely to consider" South Korea's proposal to form a joint women's ice hockey team and the size of North Korea's delegation to be sent to Pyeongchang will be decided by its national Olympic committee.

A senior South Korean official said on Friday that Seoul is seeking to form a joint women's ice hockey team with North Korea to participate in next month's Winter Olympics being hosted by the South.

During its first formal talks last week with South Korea in more than two years, North Korea agreed to send a delegation, including athletes and cheerleaders, to the February 9-25 games.

South Korea's unification ministry and sports and tourism ministry both said they have no knowledge of the matter.

A joint march at the opening ceremony would be a stunning statement for the "Peace Olympics", which will open about 50 miles (80 kilometers) from the heavily fortified Korean border on February 9.

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.

There was no immediate response from North Korea to the proposals.

The meeting would have to take a series of essential decisions including the number and names of athletes and officials from the North since the deadlines for registration havey expired. Cross-country skiers and speed skaters are understood to be among those who could benefit.

North Korea has yet to comment on the South's offer, which is in the spirit of the original deal and even goes beyond it.

The Unification Ministry said it will make a reply after reviewing the proposal. South Korea is grouped with Sweden, Switzerland and Japan in the women's tournament.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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