Jan 9, 2018

North Korea to send delegation to Olympics

South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon (R) talks with the head of North Korean delegation Ri Son-Gwon (L) before their meeting in the Demilitarized Zone. (Photo by Korea Pool/Getty Images)

Representatives from North and South Korea have just concluded a meeting at the border, the first meeting between the countries since 2015. The big news: North Korea plans to send a delegation to next month's Winter Olympics in South Korea, CNN reports citing a South Korean official.

Why it matters: Officials had been nervous that North Korea might use the Olympics as an opportunity for provocation, and this may ease those fears. However, some in Washington consider this an unwise concession. Sen. Lindsey Graham called on the U.S. to boycott if North Korea participates.

The statement: “With regard to Pyeongchang, North Korea expressed its stance that it will send a high-level delegation, athletes representing the People’s Olympic Committee, a cheering squad and an art troupe, a visitors group, a Taekwondo demonstration team and a press corp.”

More from the meeting: The North and South Korean leaders were not present but could listen in live, and South Korea's president had a video link as well. Both could call a hotline to intervene in the meeting if they chose. A second round of talks is expected on Tuesday, with military tensions possibly on the agenda.

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