North Korea to attend Olympics in rival South

North Korea to attend Olympics in rival South

The two sides also decided to hold military talks to ease tensions and to restore a military hotline closed since February 2016.

North Korea will send its athletes to the the  Winter Olympics in the South, the rivals said today after their first formal talks in more than two years following high tensions over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme.

The two sides also decided to hold military talks to ease tensions and to restore a military hotline closed since February 2016.

Seoul and Olympic organisers have been keen for Pyongyang – which boycotted the 1988 Summer Games in the South Korean capital — to take part in what they repeatedly proclaimed a "peace Olympics" in Pyeongchang next month.

But the North had given no indication it would do so until leader Kim Jong-Un’s New Year address last week, instead pursuing its banned weapons programmes in defiance of United Nations sanctions, launching missiles capable of reaching the United States and detonating its sixth and most powerful nuclear test.

"The North Korean side will dispatch a National Olympic Committee delegation, athletes, cheerleaders, art performers’ squad, spectators, a taekwondo demonstration team and a press corps and the South will provide necessary amenities and facilities," they said in a joint statement.