North Korea expressed its intent to take part in next year's Olympics in South Korea on the sidelines of the women's hockey world championships.
PyeongChang, some 180 kilometers east of Seoul in Gangwon Province, will host South Korea's first Winter Games next February. And Gangwon Province Gov. Choi Moon-soon said a Pyongyang sports official told him that North Korea will participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Their exchange came during the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Women's World Championship Division II Group A at Gangneung Hockey Centre in Gangneung, Gangwon Province.'
"When I asked him if North Korea will send athletes to PyeongChang, he said they will be here," Choi said, adding that the official was from the North Korean sports ministry.
As for the exact size of the delegation, the official told Choi that North Korea will try to send "as many athletes as possible" through qualifying events in different sports. Choi said he proposed forming a joint cheering squad, and the official responded that he'll pass the idea along to the North Korean government.
North Korea opened the IIHF event with a 2-1 loss to Australia. The North will take on South Korea at 9 p.m. Thursday. North Korea sent 20 players and 10 coaches and officials to Gangneung for the six-day tournament. Their much-anticipated hockey game will come on the eve of a women's football match in Pyongyang.'