Warm Welcome for Koreas at International Olympic Committee in Frigid Lausanne

Unification Minister Cho Myung-gon arrives at the central government complex in Seoul on Jan. 20 2018 a day after North Korea abruptly canceled its plan to send an advance team to prepare for performances during the Pyeong Chang Winter Olympics in the So

North Korea's participation was agreed to in a meeting between IOC President Thomas Bach, the organizers of the Pyeongchang games, and the national Olympic committees of both nations.

The games will take place in Pyeongchang in South Korea, opening in just 20 days.

He offered his "sincere thanks" to the governments of North and South Korea for coming to an agreement.

The delegation will compete in three sports and five disciplines.

The 22 North Korean athletes mark more North Koreans at a Winter Olympics than the last six Winter Games combined.

They were meant to oversee the venue and make arrangements for the performance of North Korean orchestra at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in February.

Those include figure skating, short-track speed skating, cross-country skiing and Alpine skiing, as well as hockey, with the International Olympic Committee having approved the entry of the joint team, despite concerns voiced by some hockey federations over fairness.

The IOC will grant accreditations to the NOC of the DPRK for 22 athletes, 24 officials and 21 media representatives. However, while the worldwide media has focused their attention on the possibility for peace, Kim Jong Un's regime has continued to move toward more nuclear and ballistic missile tests, satellite imagery has confirmed.

While it has clearly opened doors, perhaps we should remain cautious and see whether there is lasting progress - beyond any show for the world's cameras under the Olympic rings.

The unified women's ice hockey team will be represented by the Korean Unification Flag and will compete as Korea, with the anthem being the song "Arirang". In South Korea, it was felt a unified 23-member team would prevent deserving South Korean skaters from participating.

While it's generally recognised that inter-Korean contacts are important, the crisis can ultimately only be resolved by US-North Korean talks, with backing and input from South Korea, China, Russia and Japan.

The IOC, however, stated that doping-free athletes from Russian Federation might go to the 2018 Olympic Games under the classification of neutral athletes. However, the time leading up to this year's Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, has unveiled problems far more alarming than economic turmoil.

The panel also recommended 51 coaches and 10 medical staff can not be invited to the Olympics which run from February 9 to 25.

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