North 'halts' plan sending team to South this weekend

Marie Harrington
January 22, 2018

IOC President Thomas Bach said the North Koreans will takae part in five sports disciplines, including a unified women's hockey team. The Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 have opened the door for peaceful dialogue on the Korean peninsula.

They believe that it is unfair that South Korean athletes are unable to compete in the Games due to political motives, despite qualifying for events.

Before this week's meeting at International Olympic Committee headquarters in Lausanne, the two Koreas had already agreed on a set of momentous compromises, including delegations from both countries marching together at the opening ceremony and the formation of a unified women's hockey team.

Cross-Country Skiing: The IOC allocated three additional quota places to the NOC of the DPRK to allow two male athletes (HAN Chun-gyong - 15km freestyle and PAK Il-chol - 15km freestyle) and one female athlete (RI Yong-gum - 10km freestyle) to compete in PyeongChang. However, while the global media has focused their attention on the possibility for peace, Kim Jong Un's regime has continued to move toward more nuclear and ballistic missile tests, satellite imagery has confirmed. North Korea reportedly suspended talks.

Incorporating North Korean players to a settled South Korean ice hockey team could also pose problems, as the team's coach, Sarah Murray, highlighted this week.

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With about three weeks left until the Olympics, Pyongyang's abrupt cancellation late Friday has raised concerns that preparations for the North's participation at the Winter Olympics might not be smooth sailing. MCST also announced plans to boost inter-Korean exchange in other areas with North Korea's participation in the Olympics.

No other country in the world understands the tension created by the Jong-un regime more than South Korea. The remaining candidates will be cleared to participate if they pass additional screening such as "further pre-Games tests and reanalysis from stored samples", the International Olympic Committee said.

The IOC, however, stated that doping-free athletes from Russian Federation might go to the 2018 Olympic Games under the classification of neutral athletes.

The rival Koreas earlier this week agreed that the 140- member Samjiyon art troupe, which will include singers, dancers and orchestra members, will perform twice in South Korea during the games in a sign of warming ties between the countries.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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