North Korea Offers to Send 230 Cheerleaders to Olympics via Western Land Route

A working-level talks between the two Koreas on the North's participation in the upcoming Winter Olympics held at the Pea
A working-level talks between the two Koreas on the North's participation in the upcoming Winter Olympics held at the Peace House located at the southern side of the border in the truce village of Panmunjeom on Wednesday, January 17./ Source: South Korea's Ministry of Unification

By AsiaToday reporter Heo Go-woon

North Korea has offered to send 230 cheerleaders to the upcoming PyeongChang Winter Olympics in the South via a land route in the western region.

"Both sides exchanged opinions on several issues, including the size of the North Korean Olympic delegation, transportation, a joint appearance at the opening ceremony, an unified women's ice hockey team, joint cultural events, and the North's participation for PyeongChang Winter Paralympics," the Unification Ministry said Wednesday after a vice-ministerial-level meeting between the two Koreas at the Peace House located at the southern side of the border in the truce village of Panmunjeom.

"The North side revealed its plan to send a 230-member cheering squad to South Korea," the ministry said. "It proposed to send its Olympic Committee, athletes, cheerleading squad, teakwondo demonstrators, and press corps through the land route in the western region."

During the talks, the two sides exchanged opinions on the events and the size of the North Korean athletics team, the size of the North's cheerleading squad and taekwondo demonstration team, join cultural events, and the possible use of the Masikryong ski resort in North Korea.

North Korea also proposed to send athletes to the PyeongChang Paralympics in March. The matter of the North's participation in the Paralympics will be finalized in consultation with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

For the talks, the North sent three representatives including Jon Jong-su, vice chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, Won Gil-woo, vice minister of North Korea's sports ministry, and reporter Kim Kang-kuk from the Korea Central News Agency.

South Korea's three-member delegation was led by Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung. The two other delegates were Ahn Moon-hyun, deputy director-general of the Office of the Prime Minister, and Kim Ki-hong, vice president of games planning for the PyeongChang Olympics Organizing Committee.

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