North Korea will dispatch 15 women‘s ice hockey team members to the South, together with an eight-member advance team Thursday, the Ministry of Unification said late Tuesday night.
The advance team is to be led by Yoon Yong-bok, a deputy director at North Korea‘s Sports Ministry. Additionally, the 15 members to join the South in forming an inter-Korean Olympic team include 12 players, a coach and two support personnel, according to the ministry.
Players from South Korea and North Korea pose for group pictures after their game at the International Ice Hockey Federation Women`s World Championship Division II Group A tournament at Gangneung Hockey Centre in Gangneung, Gangwon Province in April 2017. (Yonhap)
This reportedly comes after the Unification Ministry had asked the North to speed up joint training of the unified women’s ice hockey team for the Winter Games.
The ministry also announced a North Korean art troupe will perform at the Gangneung Art Center in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, on Feb. 8 and at the National Theater of Korea Haeoreum Grand Theater in Seoul on Feb. 11.
The PyeongChang Winter Games run Feb. 9-25. Gangneung is a subhost city for ice sports during the games.
The Ministry of Unification said that North Korea notified the South on Tuesday that it would travel to the destinations via the overland route of Gyeongui Line on Feb. 6 and return to the North on Feb. 12 via the same route.
Earlier, in working level talks on Jan. 15, the North had said it would send its art troupe through Panmunjeom.
Shim Woo-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)