North Korea will take part in next two Olympics: IOC chief announced

North Korea will take part in next two Olympics: IOC chief announced

Bach travelled to Pyongyang on Thursday and after meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un He allowed North Korea to be part of Olympic Games.

Bach's exact itinerary in Pyongyang remains unclear but his visit comes amid a flurry of global outreach by North Korea.

Kim reportedly conveyed his appreciation to the IOC for its sincerity and cooperation in helping North Korean athletes compete at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games held in South Korea in February.

"This commitment has been fully supported by the supreme leader Kim Jong Un in a meeting we had this afternoon", Bach said.

The two Koreas first marched under the unified flag in the 2000 Sydney Olympics and this year's joint march was the first of its kind since the 2006 Torino Winter Olympic Games.

Bach told reporters after landing in Beijing that his talks with Kim on Friday had been "very open and fruitful".

In response, Kim told Bach he was "very thankful" the International Olympic Committee took special measures to allow for North Korean athletes to compete in South Korea.

Kim praised Bach and the International Olympic Committee for helping with mediation and getting North Korea to join this year's Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Last month's Winter Olympics in South Korea triggered a fast-moving rapprochement that will see Kim sit down with the South's President Moon Jae-in in late April - with a United States summit with President Donald Trump planned for May.

Bach was met at the airport by Kim Il Guk, North Korea's Minister of Physical Culture and Sports, who is also chairman of the country's Olympic committee.

International Olympic Committee president Bach travelled to Pyongyang after North Korea's participation in the Pyeongchang Winter Games that helped to ease tensions over the Korean peninsula.

The isolated, nuclear-armed regime rarely hosts foreign dignitaries but recent weeks have seen a flurry of diplomacy, with Kim making his first foreign trip as leader to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping and inviting him to visit Pyongyang. "We can not lead their political negotiations". Kim is to meet U.S. President Donald Trump by May, though the exact date and location of that summit have not been announced. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said he is exploring the possibility of a meeting with Kim as well.

Hopes have been raised that the North Korean leader may be willing to discuss his nuclear weapons program and other measures to reduce the threat of war, possibly in exchange for security guarantees and an easing of the global sanctions that have severely pinched the already struggling North Korean economy. "Now, on the political level, the discussions can continue in the Olympic spirit of understanding and peace".

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