S. Korea anticipates DPRK's positive response to proposal for unified Olympic team

  • S. Korea anticipates DPRK's positive response to proposal for unified Olympic team

S. Korea anticipates DPRK's positive response to proposal for unified Olympic team

Choi said his proposal - which includes cooperation on public performances and ice hockey - would only work if the International Olympic Committee agreed to allow North Korea a "wild card" entry into the games, for which it has not qualified.

Do also said consideration is being given to the idea of taking the Olympic torch relay through North Korean cities like Kaesong or Pyongyang, the daily said.

IOC President Thomas Bach is scheduled to visit Muju on Friday, and to hold talks with Moon in Seoul the following Monday.

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

The Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, will take place from 9-25 February.

Do plans to discuss the matter with Jang and IOC President Thomas Bach, both of whom are scheduled to visit South Korea later this month to attend the closing ceremony of an worldwide Taekwondo competition.

His remarks were interpreted as an effective rejection of Moon's offer, and a suggestion that South Korea's sanctions against the North "should be addressed first if sports exchanges such as formation of a single team can happen".

That missile launch came after North Korea reportedly tested a rocket engine.

Pyongyang said it wouldn't allow the visit due to new United Nations sanctions against it that South Korea supported.

Participation in Pyeongchang could "provide a turning point for the reconciliation between the South and North", Moon said.

Pyongyang boycotted the 1986 Asian Games and the 1988 Olympics, which were both held in Seoul, but has since taken part in global sports competitions south of the border, most recently the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon.

John Delury, a professor at Yonsei University's Graduate School of International Relations, said the games were an appropriate venue to at least try to mend ties. The spokesperson stressed that the Olympic movement is always about building bridges, never about erecting walls.

Earlier this month, South Korea's new president Moon Jae-in said North Korea could be part of a bid to co-host the 2030 football World Cup across north-east Asia. "Whether Pyongyang is capable of being engaged is a question that can only be answered by trying".