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Delegations named as DPRK "likely to participate" in Olympics
SEOUL - The Republic of Korea and the Democratic People"s Republic of Korea have named their delegations for a high-level meeting this week, the unification ministry in Seoul said on Sunday.
The proposed ROK delegation will be led by Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon, according to Seoul"s unification ministry.
Four other delegates include Vice Unification Minister Chung Hae-sung, Second Vice Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Roh Tae-kang, Ahn Moon-hyun, deputy director-general at the Prime Minister"s Office, and Kim Ki-hong, a vice president of games planning at the organizing committee for the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games.
The DPRK delegation for Tuesday"s meeting will be led by Ri Son-gwon, head of the DPRK"s agency handling inter-Korean affairs, the ministry said.
Four other delegates were CPRF Vice Chairman Jon Jong-su, Vice Minister of Physical Culture and Sports Won Kil-u, CPRK Director Hwang Chung-song and Ri Kyong-sik, a member of the National Olympic Committee of the DPRK.
The DPRK accepted the ROK"s dialogue overture on Friday, agreeing to hold the senior-level, intergovernmental talks at the Peace House in the ROK side of Panmunjom that straddles the inter-Korean land border.
Signs of a thaw were seen on the Korean Peninsula as top DPRK leader Kim Jong-un said in his New Year"s address that his country was willing to dispatch a delegation to the ROK-hosted Winter Olympics set to kick off in February.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed earlier this week with US President Donald Trump that the two allies would not conduct the annual springtime war games during the Winter Olympic period.
Trump said on Saturday he would "absolutely" be willing to talk on the phone to Kim and that he hopes a positive development results from talks between the two sides.
The talks also received a cautious welcome from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who voiced hopes but stressed that having a meeting for the sake of a meeting would be a waste.
"The Olympics is a celebration of peace. I want to recognise that change," Abe said in a recorded interview aired on Sunday on national broadcaster NHK.
Meanwhile, the DPRK"s Olympic representative said on Saturday the nation is "likely to participate" in next month"s Winter Games in the ROK.
Japanese news agency Kyodo said Chang Ung, Pyongyang"s representative to the International Olympic Committee, made the brief comment about the DPRK"s likely participation to reporters during a stopover at Beijing"s international airport.
It said Chang was believed to be traveling to Switzerland, where the IOC is based.
Xinhua - Afp - Reuters