Sports Officials from Both Koreas Set Meeting Date
David Song, Jan. 12, 2018, 9:33 a.m.
Sports officials from North and South Korea will meet with International Olympic Committee officials to discuss the North's participation in the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. They will meet in Lausanne, Switzerland on Jan. 20, the IOC said Thursday. Chang Ung, Pyongyang's representative to the IOC, visited Lausanne on Wednesday and met with officials there. "We will talk with the IOC about the size of delegation including athletes participating in the Olympics," he said.
Due to the limited time left before the games, the two Koreas and the IOC are expected to finalize all decisions in the meeting. The North Korean figure skating duo of Ryom Tae-ok and Kim Ju-sik qualified for the Olympics but missed the deadline for application. But the IOC has said it will still allow them to compete.
Chang Ung, Pyongyang's representative to the International Olympic Committee, leaves a hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland on Wednesday.
Sports officials here believe the North asked the IOC to grant North Korean athletes wild card status in cross-country skiing and short-track speed skating, where they are relatively competitive. The meeting will be chaired by IOC President Thomas Bach, while the South will be represented by Korean Olympic Committee chief Lee Ki-heung and the North by the head of its Olympic Committee, Kim Il-guk.
Both Lee and Kim attended the Association of National Olympic Committees General Assembly in Prague last November but did not meet separately. The last time the top sports officials of the two Koreas sat face to face was in Kaesong back in 2007 to discuss forming a unified team for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.