North Korea will be invading South Korea, literally. Its athletes will take part in the February’s Winter Olympics and this is being considered by experts as a symbolic breakthrough following escalated tensions for past several months between the two nation.
Talks between the two neighbors were held at the border village of Panmunjom and it is reported the negotiators of North Korea accepted the request of South quickly to send delegation next month to Pyeongchang. It is also learned the North will be sending cheering squad too as well as a performance-art troupe.
In a period of about eight years this is the first time North Korea will be taking part in the Winter Olympics. However, the country did send delegations in almost all the Summer Olympics since 1972.
North Korea boycotted the 1984 Games in Los Angeles and the 1988 Games in Seoul.
The Seoul Olympics was planned to co-host but it failed and the North tried to disrupt the Games too. A bomb was planted on a Korean Air passenger plane in 1987, claims South Korea citing it was aimed at sabotaging the 1988 Olympics. There were 115 people on board and all of them were killed in the terrorist attack.
In the latest talks it is not clear whether the North has attached any conditions to sending the athletes to South Korea.
The meeting was close-circuit and relayed in real time to Seoul. Audio of it was transmitted by North Korea to Pyongyang.
Earlier this month, on January 1, North Korea head Kim Jong-un said in his New Year’s Day speech to be holding talks with the South about participation in the Games.