North Korea requests talks on Winter Olympics with South on Wednesday

North and South Korea had agreed to hold follow-up discussions regarding North Korea's participation in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
North and South Korea had agreed to hold follow-up discussions regarding North Korea's participation in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.PHOTO: AFP

SEOUL (REUTERS) - North Korea has requested that working talks on sending its athletes to next month's Pyeongchang Winter Olympics be held on Wednesday (Jan 17) at the truce village of Panmunjom, the South's unification ministry said in a mobile text message.

A ministry official said on Monday it had yet to decide whether it would accept the request from the North, which asked for the meeting to be held at Peace House on the South Korean side of the demilitarised zone that separates the two Koreas.

The message from the South's unification ministry came after the two Koreas met earlier on Monday to discuss North Korea sending a performance art group to the Winter Olympics in South Korea, which will begin in February.

North and South Korea had agreed to hold follow-up discussions regarding North Korea's participation in the Winter Olympics after the two Koreas last week held their first formal dialogue in more than two years amid high tensions over the North's missile and nuclear programmes.

North Korea is also planning to send a large delegation to the Winter Olympics in addition to the athletes and performance group. South Korea is also seeking to form a united women's ice hockey team with the North to participate in the Games, according to media reports.

North and South Korea will also hold talks hosted by the International Olympics Committee, separate from the inter-Korean talks, on Jan 20.