International Olympic Committee 'considering joint Korea hockey team'

South Korean figure skater Cha Jun-hwan performs during the final leg of the Olympic trials in Seoul on Jan. 7 2018

North Korea's International Olympic Committee representative said Saturday there is still work left to be done for the country's participation in next month's Winter Olympic Games in South Korea.

A White House official said Wednesday that Pence will attend the games, scheduled for February 9-25 in Pyeongchang.

The statement not only covers the North's participation in the Olympics, it also says that the two sides "agreed to collaborate in facilitating reconciliation and unity by easing military tensions, and to establish a peaceful environment", including by holding military talks. "Since there have been few exchanges between the two Koreas, there are many minor issues to be dealt with".

An offer has also been made by the South to have both countries' athletes walk into the Opening Ceremony together under a unified flag, although like the ice hockey proposal, a resolution has not yet been reached. In April 2017, South Korea allowed the North Korean team to travel to the South for the Women's World Championships in ice hockey.

South Korean figure skater Cha Jun-hwan speaks during a press meeting in central Seoul on Jan. 11 2018
South Korean figure skater Cha Jun-hwan speaks during a press meeting in central Seoul on Jan. 11 2018

Instead, the South Korean authorities are expected to seek permission to expand the size of its squad from the existing 23 players to 35.

The U.S. State Department said in a briefing Tuesday that there are not any current plans for the American delegation to meet with the North Korean delegation.

It isn't clear which North Korean athletes will take advantage of wildcard entries reportedly under consideration by the IOC. From left: Kim Ju-sik of North Korea, Kim Kyu-eun of South Korea, Ryom Tae-ok of North Korea and Kam Kang-chan of South Korea.

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