North Koreans to compete in Olympics

North Koreans to compete in Olympics

North Koreans to compete in Olympics

The meeting today, chaired by International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach, included representatives from the respective National Olympic Committees of North and South Korea, as well as Pyeongchang 2018.

"More than 80 per cent of the athletes in this pool did not compete at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014", the IOC said in a statement.

The IOC has said it wants to be "as flexible as possible" in maximising North Korean participation at the 2018 Games and has opened the door to some of the country's speed-skaters and skiers competing.

The two nations will march into the opening ceremony under the name "Korea", while flying the Korean unification flag and marching to the song "Arirang".

They were meant to oversee the venue and make arrangements for the performance of North Korean orchestra at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in February. She also heads the hugely popular girl band Moranbong that's hand-picked by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

North Korea has still not disclosed the reason as to why it is not sending the advance team, the official said on Saturday.

The South Korean head coach will take charge but at least three players from North Korea must be selected in the team.

Pyongyang agreed last week to send athletes, high-level officials, and others to the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, easing months of high tensions over its weapons programmes.

South Korea's Unification Ministry said on Saturday that the sudden cancellation of the North Korean delegation's visit was more of a postponement.

"We've conveyed our position to the North that all preparations have been made for the visit and that the South and the North would be able to reset the schedule", he added.

"The Olympic spirit is about respect, dialogue and understanding", said Bach.

Figure skating - skating pair Ryom Tae-Ok and Kim Ju-Sik have been given a place, despite missing the original registration deadline.

An IOC spokesperson confirmed that the North Korean athletes will stay in the Olympic village, quashing speculation that they may have chosen to sleep on a boat to avoid residing on Southern soil.

Asked how the International Olympic Committee planned to maintain the integrity of the sport, Adams said: "People would say that these are exceptional circumstances, and we need exceptional measures".

For starters, the International Olympic Committee decided in December to ban Russian Federation from the games beginning the first week of February due to a state-backed doping scandal.

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