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SKorean president calls for NKorean Olympic participation


However, Mr Do does plan to raise the idea of inviting North Korean players to join South Korea's women's ice hockey team for the Pyeongchang Olympics, the spokesman said.

The Post reports that Jong-hwan will discuss his proposal with Jang Woong, North Korea's delegate to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and IOC President Thomas Bach some time this month. The dialogue with North Korea is a part of newly elected South Korean President Moon Jae-in's policy, aimed at reconciliation on the Korean peninsula.

The South Korean minister cited North Korea's "top-class" Masikryong ski resort as a potential venue.

South Korea gained a berth in the women's ice hockey event alongside seven other teams, but North Korea did not make it.

Pyeongchang 2018 will be the first Winter Olympic Games hosted by South Korea.

The survey also showed that among the respondents, 8.9 percent said they would go and see the games and among the individual events, 39 percent are interested in short track events, 31.4 percent in the opening ceremony, 29.8 percent in ski jumping and 26.6 percent in figure skating.


Despite Moon's public statements that he wants to improve relations with North Korea, Pyongyang has ramped up missile testing and continued its aggressive rhetoric towards its southern neighbor and the US.

South and nuclear-armed North Korea are separated by one of the world's most heavily armed borders, and remain technically at war.

However, the pivot towards reconciliation with North Korea could raise eyebrows in the USA, where President Donald Trump's early days in office have been marked by heightened tension with the communist state.

Moon has expressed a desire to use the February 9-25 Pyeongchang Olympics to reach out to North Korea, with relations between the two at their lowest point in decades.

"We are now reviewing all the ideas put forth by the government and we look forward to discussing this with the International Olympic Committee during their next visit", said Nancy Park, a Pyeongchang 2018 spokesperson. "Whether Pyongyang is capable of being engaged is a question that can only be answered by trying".

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