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IOC to convene meeting on North Korea’s 2018 Olympics participation on January 20

January 10, 18:58 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Seoul and Pyongyang held on january 9 the first round of the dialogue to normalize relations between two countries

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MOSCOW, January 10. /TASS/. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will convene for a session on January 20 with representatives of the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) of South Korea and North Korea to discuss earlier voiced proposals on the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, the IOC said in its statement on Wednesday.

"The IOC President, Thomas Bach, today called for a meeting to decide on the participation of athletes from the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018," the statement said.

North Korea proposed on Tuesday to send a delegation of high-ranking officials and others, including athletes, cheering and performing art squads, taekwondo demonstration teams and journalists, to the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games.

"In order to decide on the proposals, the IOC will convene a four-party meeting on Saturday 20 January 2018 at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland," according to the IOC statement.

The session will be chaired by IOC President Bach and besides representatives from NOCs of South Korea and North Korea it will be also attended by a delegation from the 2018 PyeongChang Organizing Committee, high-ranking government officials and the IOC members from both countries.

"The meeting will have to take a series of essential decisions, including the number and names of athletes and officials from the NOC of the DPRK, since all the deadlines for registration have already passed," according to the IOC.

"The IOC will also have to decide on the format of such participation, including questions related to the official protocol - flag, anthem, ceremonies, uniform, etc.," the statement added.

Seoul and Pyongyang held on Tuesday the first round of the dialogue to normalize relations between two countries. The inter-Korean negotiations, which are the first since December 2015, focus on practical moves to repair relations between North and South Korea, including the possible performance of North Korea’s athletes at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

"I warmly welcome the joint proposals by the governments of the ROK and DPRK, which have been applauded by so many other governments worldwide," IOC President Bach was quoted as saying by the statement about the upcoming session.

"This is a great step forward in the Olympic spirit and in the spirit of the Olympic Truce Resolution passed by the General Assembly of the United Nations," Bach said. "Now the IOC must take the decisions to make this political commitment a reality."

The upcoming Olympics, which are 23rd Winter Games, will take place in South Korea’s PyeongChang on February 9-25, 2018.

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