South and North Korea discuss joint women's ice hockey team for Olympics

South and North Korea discuss joint women's ice hockey team for Olympics

South and North Korea discuss joint women's ice hockey team for Olympics

North Korea has proposed talks next week to discuss its plan to send a performing art troupe to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, Seoul's unification ministry said today.

The proposals were not made public at the time, but they heighten a sense of soaring optimism about the Games since the North confirmed its attendance during the rare, high-level talks on Tuesday.

Hyon Song-Wol, leader of the popular Moranbong band, is one of four North Korean delegates set to attend the talks in the truce village of Panmunjom on Monday.

Chang also told reporters at Beijing's global 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 joint march at the opening ceremony would be a stunning statement for the "Peace Olympics", which will open about 80km from the heavily fortified Korean border on Feb 9.

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On Jan 20, both sides will meet at the IOC's Lausanne headquarters to discuss details of their participation.

The President of the Olympic Council of Asia, Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah, believes the power of sport to unite the world is in evidence again following DPR Korea's agreement to attend the Olympic Winter Games in the Republic of Korea next month.

It isn't clear which North Korean athletes will take advantage of wildcard entries reportedly under consideration by the IOC. The two teams even played each other, with the South defeating the North 3-0 in division play.

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.

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