North and South Korea will march under one flag at Winter Olympics

IOC to consider joint Korean ice hockey team

The statement, made on Wednesday following the third round of talks in just over a week, said the two Koreas will form a joint women's ice hockey team.

If the teams do march together next month, it will not be the first time they walk together under a joint flag.

The North will send a large delegation to the Games, including a 230-member cheering squad and a 30-member taekwondo demonstration team.

An official at Seoul's unification ministry said the North offered to send 230 cheerleaders to the Olympics, and made clear it also meant to take part in the Paralympics in March.

North Korea and South Korea, two countries still technically at war since 1950, will march under a unified flag during the Winter Olympics next month in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The IOC has announced it will hold talks in Switzerland this weekend with the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of both countries, as well as the Pyeongchang 2018 Organizing Committee.

President Trump said Wednesday he is willing to negotiate directly with Kim Jong Un over North Korea's nuclear weapons program but expressed doubts it would ultimately work.

The latest UN Security Council resolution, adopted in December in response to the North's inter-continental ballistic missile test, calls on member states to impound vessels in their ports if there are reasonable grounds to suspect illicit trade with North Korea. His remarks came at a Vancouver meeting of 20 nations seeking ways to increase pressure on North Korea.

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SECRETARY of State Rex Tillerson offered a sobering assessment about the possibility of war with North Korea, saying advances in that country's nuclear program meant the situation was "very tenuous".

However, he said the threat posed by North Korea was growing.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said in Vancouver that the world should not be naive about North Korea's "charm offensive" in engaging in talks with the South.

"We should not be naive about their intent", he said.

North Korea's sudden announcement on January 1 that it would consider joining the Games is raising hopes for better ties between the Koreas after a year of heightened animosities and fears of a military confrontation as the United States is beefing up its pressures on North Korea over its nuclear and missile tests.

The two Koreas have previously sent joint teams to major worldwide sports events twice, both in 1991. They did so at the opening ceremonies of the 2000, 2004 and 2006 Olympics as well.

North and South Korea have been talking since last week regarding Pyongyang's participation in the Olympics. "It definitely affects our players".

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