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North Korea expected at 2018 Winter Olympics, say IOC

Monday, February 20, 2017 - 00:52

IOC vice president says North Korea will likely be at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, though it is unlikely they will march together with South Korea

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SHOWS: SAPPORO, JAPAN (FEBRUARY 20, 2017) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE VICE-PRESIDENT, JOHN COATES, SAYING: "There are invitations from the International Olympic Committee to the national Olympic committees that it recognises. So it has nothing to do with governments. So it's the, he's heavily indicated that the national Olympic committee will accept the invitation. Nothing to do with the politics." 2. BADGE OF TOKYO 2020 LOGO 3. (SOUNDBITE) (English) INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE VICE-PRESIDENT, JOHN COATES, SAYING: "I was the one of the chief organisers in Sydney when they marched together. It hasn't happened in other games. That's a matter between the two national Olympic committees. If it happens that's nice but I can also understand that at home games, I would think that the host would want to march on their own, I'm sure they would." STORY: IOC Vice-President John Coates on Monday (February 20) said he believed it highly likely North Korea will be participating in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in 2018, though did not expect them to march together with South Korea as they did in the Sydney Olympics of 2000. "There are invitations from the International Olympic Committee to the national Olympic committees that it recognises. So it has nothing to do with governments. So it's the, he's heavily indicated that the national Olympic committee will accept the invitation. Nothing to do with the politics," Coates told Reuters on Monday in Sapporo on the sidelines of the Asian Games there. North and South Korea are still technically at war and tensions have risen in the last week with the North's test firing of a ballistic missile in contravention of United Nations resolutions as well as with the assassination of Kim Jong-Nam the estranged half-brother of the North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. North and South Korea marched together with a unification flag at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and were able to show their solidarity for the first time in a history of two countries of the divided peninsula. However Coates said he doesn't see that happening in 2018. "I was the one of the chief organisers in Sydney when they marched together. It hasn't happened in other games. That's a matter between the two national Olympic committees. If it happens that's nice but I can also understand that at home games, I would think that the host would want to march on their own, I'm sure they would," Coates added.

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North Korea expected at 2018 Winter Olympics, say IOC

Monday, February 20, 2017 - 00:52