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[PyeongChang 2018] NK welcome to join PyeongChang Olympics despite listing as terror sponsor

Despite being recently listed by the United States as a state sponsor of terrorism, North Korea is still welcome to join the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics in South Korea, the foreign ministry here said Tuesday.

On Monday, the US added North Korea again to its list of states sponsoring terrorism, as the Trump administration increases its campaign of maximum pressure over North Korea's illegal development of nuclear weapons. The North had been removed from the list nine years ago.

"The government's position is that the latest measure would contribute to the approach of bringing North Korea to the negotiating table through strong sanctions and pressure so as to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue peacefully," ministry spokesman Noh Kyu-duk said in a press briefing. "In that vein, I don't think (the measure) has anything special to do with the Winter Olympics."

Ministry spokesman Noh Kyu-duk (Yonhap)
Ministry spokesman Noh Kyu-duk (Yonhap)

South Korea has been rallying for North Korea's participation in the international sports event next year as part of its sports diplomacy to reach out to the North although the regime has not made any response yet.

"In the case of the PyeongChang Olympics, any country that has met certain qualifications may apply for participation through the International Olympic Committee and naturally be able to join," Noh said. (Yonhap)

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