IOC President Will Visit North Korea After Pyeongchang Winter Olympics

IOC President Will Visit North Korea  After Pyeongchang Winter OlympicsIOC President Will Visit North Korea  After Pyeongchang Winter Olympics

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach plans to visit North Korea after the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, cementing ties with the reclusive state which used the event to restart political dialogue with South Korea.

Bach told Reuters in an interview on Monday he would make the visit on the North’s invitation as part of an agreement between the IOC and both North and South Korea. The parties were still discussing a convenient date, he added.

The games in South Korea are due to end on February 25.

“All the parties concerned have welcomed this invitation to North Korea,” he said. “We are talking about the convenient date in order to continue the dialogue on the sports side. We will see when this is going to happen.”

North Korea agreed to participate in Pyeongchang after the South and IOC encouraged the heavily sanctioned state to participate as a gesture of peace.

Athletes from both sides marched together at the opening ceremony and have fielded a unified women’s ice hockey team, the first time an inter-Korean team has competed at any Olympic Games.

“For our side, for the sports side, this dialogue will continue,” Bach said, adding that the IOC was in constant dialogue with North Korea’s National Olympic Committee.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in hosted two of North Korea’s most senior officials at the opening ceremony, including North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s sister.

Kim Jong Un has invited Moon for talks in Pyongyang, South Korean officials said, setting the stage for the first meeting of Korean leaders in more than a decade.

The thaw in relations has centered on the Olympics, with a senior American member of the IOC calling for the joint ice hockey team, which included 12 North Korean players, to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

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