IOC welcomes North Korea competing at Olympics

Ri Son Gwon
Head of North Korean delegation Ri Son Gwon, center, is greeted by South Korean officials after he crosses the border line to attend their meeting at Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone in Paju, South Korea, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018. North Korea agreed Tuesday to send a delegation to next month's Winter Olympics in South Korea, Seoul officials said, as the bitter rivals sat for rare talks at the border to discuss how to cooperate in the Olympics and improve their long-strained ties. (Korea Pool via AP)

The International Olympic Committee says it welcomes moves by North Korea to take part in next month’s Winter Olympics in South Korea.

IOC president Thomas Bach says in a statement that North Korea’s decision to send a delegation to the games is “a great step forward in the Olympic spirit.”

The IOC says it’s now waiting for official details of how North Korean participation could work before it decides which athletes could compete.

It’s also unclear which flags and anthems would be used, though South Korea has suggested athletes from the two Koreas could march together during the opening and closing ceremonies at the Pyeongchang Olympics, which run from Feb. 9 through 25.

South Korea’s Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung earlier cited North Korean officials as saying their delegation would include officials, athletes, cheerleaders, and journalists.