International Olympic Committee to decide on N.Korea in 2018 Winter Games

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North Korea has proposed working-level talks with the South to discuss sending performing artists to the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games. The International Olympic Committee is expected to extend several "wild card" spots to North Korean athletes so they can compete at the Olympics without qualifying, but it's not known if that would apply to individual athletes or an entire team.

Reports indicate that agreement was reached for the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) to send a delegation composed of athletes, a martial arts demonstration team, high-level officials, supporters and journalists to the Olympics in Pyeongchang.

"The government informed the North that our delegation will come to Panmunjom on January 15", the ministry said in a statement.

Following the first inter-Korean talks this week in more than two years, the two sides had agreed to hold talks on 20 January, hosted by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The ministry said the North wanted to also propose another date for working-level talks about its participation in the winter olympics.

Chang also told reporters at Beijing's global airport that "the IOC is likely to consider" South Korea's proposal to form a joint women's ice hockey team and the size of North Korea's delegation to be sent to Pyeongchang will be decided by its national Olympic committee.

The Unification Ministry said it will make a reply after reviewing the proposal.

The talks had been closely watched by world leaders keen for any sign of a reduction in tension, as fears grow over the North's missile launches and development of nuclear weapons, in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions.

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