North Koreans to compete in Olympics

Pauline Gross
January 22, 2018

"This is the Olympic message that will go from Pyeongchang to the world".

"We are making our point that (these facilities) should be managed by the state", said Choi Moon-soon, the governor of Gangwon Province, which will host the 2018 Winter Olympics.

The art troupe will be part of the North Korean delegation to the Feb 9-25 Olympics that will also include athletes and high-ranking officials, Yonhap reported.

Cross-country skiing: two male athletes - Han Chun-Gyong and Pak Il-Chol - will compete in the 15km freestyle, while one female athlete Ri Yong-Gum has a place in the 10km freestyle. As in most other winter sports, the South is much stronger than the North.

The principle of solving the divided peninsula's problems internally among Koreans has been openly stated since 1972 "and is a legacy of centuries-old perceptions that Korea is a "shrimp among whales" with little control over its own destiny", said Ms Arrington.

The North also rebuked the South for attempting to address its illegal nuclear weapons program.

However, many experts believe the rogue regime still lacks key missile technology to carry out its threat of striking the American mainland.

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"It is not the time to ease pressure, or to reward North Korea", Kono said. "This isn't easy to achieve so it appears to be isolating Washington while thawing ties with Seoul - and trying to benefit as much as it can from Seoul", said Kim Cheol-woo, a military research fellow at Korea Institute for Defense Analyses.

Hyon Song Wol, leader of the all-girl Moranbong Band and suspected former lover of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, was slated to lead a seven-member delegation to South Korea to check out the venues for several North Korean cultural performances in Seoul and Gangnueng. This was largely interpreted as a move to weaken the South Korea-U.S. alliance. He also noted that both he and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis hail from "the other Washington", which is closest to the Korean Peninsula of the lower 48 USA states.

Thomas Bach (c) takes a "family photo" with the North Korean and South Korean Olympic leaders.

For the first time in Olympic history, the two nations will form a joint team, in women's ice hockey, that will compete under the unification flag.

"Today marks a milestone on a long journey", Bach said.

It was at the DMZ's Joint Security Area in Panmunjom that delegations from both Koreas, holding the first high-level talks in over two years, struck the deal, signalling an implicit detente in the diplomatic tensions that had seen a dramatic uptick in the past few years amid the North's ongoing ballistic missile testing programme. The North regularly threatens to destroy the South, Japan and their major ally, the United States.

Other reports by GizPress

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