South Korea proposes unified Olympic women's ice hockey team with North Korea

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The deal marks the first time that athletes from the North will compete in a South Korean Olympics, as North Korea boycotted the 1988 Olympics in Seoul.

The Unification Ministry said it will make a reply after reviewing the proposal.

North Korea has proposed working-level talks with the South to discuss sending performing artists to the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games.

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An offer has also been made by the South to have both countries' athletes walk into the Opening Ceremony together under a unified flag, although like the ice hockey proposal, a resolution has not yet been reached.

The South Korean defense ministry began preparations for military talks and is expected to propose a date and venue for the agreed-upon meeting via the restored inter-Korean military hotline later this week or next week."We have to start from easy issues and proceed gradually", a senior South Korean defense official said.

A joint march at the opening ceremony would be a stunning statement for the "Peace Olympics", which will open about 80km from the heavily fortified Korean border on Feb 9.

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Yonhap said South Korea has asked the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Hockey Federation for permission to expand the roster of its women's hockey team, to bring in North Korean players.

It would be chaired by International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, on January 20, it was announced on Wednesday.

With the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang less than a month away, South Korea continues to offer olive branches to their northern neighbors.

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For the Pyeongchang hockey competition, Roh said South Korea wouldn't cut home-grown players from its squad in favour of North Koreans.

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