IOC reduces pool of Russian athletes eligible to compete at Olympics


"Our meeting today shows that Olympic sport always builds bridges", IOC President Thomas Bach told reporters before the meeting. The others are figure skating, short track speed skating, Alpine skiing and cross-country skiing.

The two leaders discussed preparations for the upcoming 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea's defense reform initiative, and the ongoing military talks between North and South Korea, Davis said, agreeing that the US and South Korea will remain unified in working to achieve a complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

North Korea said the remarks it took issue with were in the vein of "the US desperately trying to reverse the trend of detente and improvement of inter-Korean relations, which is hardly achieved now", seemingly referring to the apparent diplomatic breakthrough surrounding the Winter Olympics, according to a statement from the Permanent Mission of the DPRK to the United Nations.

The IOC let North Korea send some 22 sportsmen, 24 officials and 21 media representatives to PyeongChang.

IOC president Thomas Bach gave that approval Saturday, following closed-door talks with the leaders of the Olympic committees from both Koreas, Pyeongchang 2018 organisers, and senior government officials from the two countries.

South Korea's Unification Ministry said it had accepted the proposal for the two-day visit starting Sunday.

There has been skepticism about Kim Jong Un's offer.

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North Korea's possible involvement in Pyeongchang is seen by some as a sign of easing tensions over Pyongyang's nuclear and missile program.

"This was not an easy journey", said Bach, who competed in fencing at the Olympics for West Germany when it was divided from its neighbor to the east.

This will be the first unified Korean team at an Olympic Games.

Traditional Korean folk song "Arirang" has been decided as their anthem and the unified team will use the acronym COR. "Whether you're South Korean or North Korean, they have to earn their place".

In the interests of fairness, only 22 players will be entitled to play in each match, in line with the other teams, it said.

As no North Korean athlete had technically qualified for Pyeongchang, Saturday's announcement required extending qualification deadlines in the sports concerned.