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Seoul calls to launch dialogue on North Korea’s participation in Olympics this week

January 10, 9:46 UTC+3 SEOUL

Next week, Seoul plans to set up a working group comprising representatives of government agencies to prepare for North Korea’s participation in the Games

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SEOUL, January 10. /TASS/. South Korea is ready to discuss issues on Pyongyang’s participation in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics already this week, spokesman for South Korea's Unification Ministry Baik Tae-hyun told reporters on Wednesday.

"We offered the North to launch dialogue on this issue as soon as possible, maybe already this week," the spokesman said.

Next week, Seoul plans to set up a working group comprising representatives of government agencies to prepare for North Korea’s participation in the Games. They will have to find out if the financial support of Pyongyang’s participation in the Olympics comes in violation of sanctions against North Korea.

"This issue will be decided together with the UN sanctions committee and the US government," the spokesman said.

On Tuesday, South Korea’s Foreign Ministry said sanctions could be temporarily eased to facilitate the visits of North Korean officials to the Olympic Games.

The first round of dialogue on mending ties between North and South Korea was held on Tuesday in the border village of Panmunjom. Practical steps to improve relations between Seoul and Pyongyang topped the agenda of the inter-Korean talks, the first since December 2015.

The parties discussed reopening an emergency communication channel between military officials, holding consultations on easing tensions on the border and reached an agreement on the North Korean delegation’s visit to the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics. North Korea will send a taekwondo demonstration team, fans and a support team.

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