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North Korea will send a team to the Winter Olympics

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By Mark Armstrong
North Korea will send athletes and officials to Winter Olympics
North Korea will send athletes and officials to Winter Olympics

North Korea says it will send a delegation to the Winter Olympics in South Korea in February.

The announcement came during high-level talks on Tuesday, the first between the two states for over two years.

Officials from the north said that as well as athletes they would be sending high-ranking officials and what it called a 'cheering squad' to the competition in Pyeongchang.

On the streets of Pyongyang, citizen Jon Hyok, welcomed the announcement.

"I think that the Winter Olympics, which will take place in South Korea, are a good chance to show the world a good image of our nation. I hope that athletes from North and South can do well and be successful."

South Korea also proposed holding family reunions during the Winter Olympics for people separated by the Korean War, an emotional issue for both countries.

"I believe these formal diplomatic discussions can result in peace," said South Korean Kyung-mi Young.  "Foreigners see the Korean peninsula as a dangerous place that's under the constant threat of war, and I hope those concerns don't become reality."

The latest talks were held in the border village of Panmunjom, in the Demilitarized Zone. 2017 was a year of elevated tensions between North and South Korea, as well as the rest of the world, mainly over Pyongyang's expanding nuclear programme.