IOC to decide on DPRK's participation in PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games

Updated 2018-01-11 09:01:13 Xinhua

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Wednesday that it will host a four-party meeting to decided on the participation of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games to be held in South Korea next month.

Following joint proposals by the DPRK and South Korea on Tuesday, the meeting is called for and will be chaired by IOC President Thomas Bach at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Jan. 20.

Bach is supposed to be joined by a delegation from the PyeongChang 2018 Organizing Committee and delegations from the National Olympic Committees of both Koreas, all led by their respective presidents, as well as high-ranking government officials and the IOC Members in both countries.

The meeting will have to take a series of essential decisions, including the number and names of athletes and officials from the DPRK, since all the deadlines for registration have already passed. It will also have to decide on the format of such participation, including questions related to the official protocol such as the flag, anthem, ceremonies and uniform.

In an official release, Bach said he warmly welcomes the joint proposals which have been applauded by so many other governments worldwide.

"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. Now the IOC must take the decisions to make this political commitment a reality," said the IOC president.

Earlier on Tuesday, the DPRK confirmed that it will join in the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games which is scheduled for Feb. 9 to 25, following South Korea's proposal that the DPRK send a large delegation as well as a cheering squad to PyeongChang.

The decision was made at an inter-Korean talks held on the north-south border on Tuesday, which was first of its kind in two years and lasted for about an hour. It was followed by talks between chief negotiators from the two sides that continued for 50 minutes.

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