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S. Korea well prepared if DPRK attends Olympics: organisers

Sports2018-01-03

Host South Korea is well prepared should DPRK decide to take part in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, with a cruise ship ready to transport and accommodate its athletes, organisers said Wednesday. Lee Hee-Beom says the South is well prepared should DPRK decide to attend the Winter Olympics Lee Hee-Beom, head of the 2018 Olympic organising committee, said they had long been preparing for the DPRK's attendance at what he described as the "largest-ever winter festival in history". "We're making preparations in case DPRK sends not only its athletes but a cheering squad and support staff as well," Lee said. "The International Olympic Committee has also said several times that it would support DPRK's participation," Lee added. DPRK leader Kim Jong-Un said in a new year speech that his country wished success for the Olympics, to be held from February 9-25, and would consider sending a delegation. Kim also announced the reopening of a hotline with the South to discuss attending the Olympics, as a "significant first step" in improving ties. Seoul and organisers have billed the Winter Games as a "peace Olympics" and have been keen for the DPRK to take part. But the main venues are just 80 kilometres (50 miles) from the heavily fortified border and the build-up to the event has been overshadowed by high tensions over the DPRK's nuclear and missile tests. Governor Choi Moon-Soon of Gangwon province, where the event is sited, has said the province is willing to send a cruise ship to the DPRK to take its delegation to the South's port of Sokcho near the Olympic venues. Choi said he had made the offer to a DPRK official, who reacted positively and promised to convey it to leader Kim. "A cruise ship will be a convenient solution to the problems with security and lodging," the governor said. When the DPRK attended the 2002 Asian Games in the South's port city of Busan, its delegation arrived on a cruise ship and used it as a floating hotel during the event. (AFP)

Host South Korea is well prepared should DPRK decide to take part in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, with a cruise ship ready to transport and accommodate its athletes, organisers said Wednesday.

 Lee Hee-Beom says the South is well prepared should DPRK decide to attend the Winter Olympics

Lee Hee-Beom says the South is well prepared should DPRK decide to attend the Winter Olympics

Lee Hee-Beom, head of the 2018 Olympic organising committee, said they had long been preparing for the DPRK's attendance at what he described as the "largest-ever winter festival in history".

"We're making preparations in case DPRK sends not only its athletes but a cheering squad and support staff as well," Lee said.

"The International Olympic Committee has also said several times that it would support DPRK's participation," Lee added.

DPRK leader Kim Jong-Un said in a new year speech that his country wished success for the Olympics, to be held from February 9-25, and would consider sending a delegation.

Kim also announced the reopening of a hotline with the South to discuss attending the Olympics, as a "significant first step" in improving ties.

Seoul and organisers have billed the Winter Games as a "peace Olympics" and have been keen for the DPRK to take part.

But the main venues are just 80 kilometres (50 miles) from the heavily fortified border and the build-up to the event has been overshadowed by high tensions over the DPRK's nuclear and missile tests.

Governor Choi Moon-Soon of Gangwon province, where the event is sited, has said the province is willing to send a cruise ship to the DPRK to take its delegation to the South's port of Sokcho near the Olympic venues.

Choi said he had made the offer to a DPRK official, who reacted positively and promised to convey it to leader Kim.

"A cruise ship will be a convenient solution to the problems with security and lodging," the governor said.

When the DPRK attended the 2002 Asian Games in the South's port city of Busan, its delegation arrived on a cruise ship and used it as a floating hotel during the event.

(AFP)

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