North Korea send 22 athletes to Winter Games in South

Vastavam web: North Korea will send 22 athletes to next month’s Winter Games in the South, the International Olympic Committee said today, approving a landmark deal between two nations still officially at war.South Korea had hoped that the Games which begin in Pyeongchang on February 9 could help ease the crisis on the peninsula plagued by months of rising tensions over the North’s nuclear and missile and programme.Before this week’s meeting at IOC headquarters in Lausanne, the two Koreas had already agreed on a set of momentous compromises, including delegations from both countries marching together at the opening ceremony and the formation of a unified women’s hockey team.

But the two Koreas still needed approval from the IOC, as the pact required the suspension of some basic Olympic rules.Those include figure skating, short-track speed skating, cross-country skiing and Alpine skiing, as well as hockey, with the IOC having approved the entry of the joint team, despite concerns voiced by some hockey federations over fairness.At the opening ceremony, the joint delegation “will be led into the Olympic stadium by the Korean unification flag” carried together by athlete from each country, the IOC said.