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1ST LEAD Olympics can 'build bridges' as Korean talks at IOC start By John Bagratuni, dpa

Europe, Europa
20.01.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Berlin (dpa) - North and South Korean officials met at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Saturday to discuss the participation of North Korea at next month‘s Winter Games in Pyeongchang.

IOC president Thomas Bach chaired the meeting with the heads of the national Olympic committees from both nations, their IOC members, and representatives of the Games‘ organizing committee POCOG.

Two members of the IOC executive board are also be present.

"Today is a great moment for the Olympic Movement, because the Olympic spirit has brought us all together. The Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 have opened the door for peaceful dialogue on the Korean peninsula," Bach said in opening remarks.

"Our meeting today shows that Olympic sport always builds bridges. It never erects walls.

"The Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 give everyone a real opportunity for a new beginning, to open the doors for a brighter future. We still have a long way to go on our journey, but today we are taking one more significant step together."

The IOC must decide how many North Korean athletes and officials can take part at the February 9-25 Games in South Korea, after the expiration of all registration deadlines, and also make decisions on protocol issues such as flags and uniforms.

North Korea said earlier in the month it would participate at the Games, and bilateral talks have led to proposals of a joint women‘s ice hockey team and both nations marching together at the opening ceremony.

POCOG president Lee Hee Beom said Thursday that North Korean athletes could also compete in figure skating, alpine and cross-country skiing.

 

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