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IOC President to Visit North Korea After Games


International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach speaks at a news conference in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Olympics chief Thomas Bach will visit North Korea after the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, the International Olympic Committee said in a statement Monday.

IOC spokesman Mark Adams said Bach had been invited by the North Koreans during talks between the two Koreas meditated by the IOC, during which the North confirmed its participation at the Games.

The visit was agreed as part of the deal for North Korea to take part in the Olympics, Adams said, although no date has been set.

Meanwhile, Bach dismissed concerns that North Korea has tried to "hijack" the Winter Olympic Games for political purposes.

Speaking to reporters Monday, Bach said he regarded North Korea's participation purely in sporting terms and that the IOC made very clear, despite the intense shuttle diplomacy between the two Koreas during the opening days of the Games.

The U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence said North Korea was trying to "hijack the message and imagery" of the Olympics.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, second from bottom right, stands alongside first lady Kim Jung-sook as the South Korean national anthem is played at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Feb. 9, 2018.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in, second from bottom right, stands alongside first lady Kim Jung-sook as the South Korean national anthem is played at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Feb. 9, 2018.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in hosted two of North Korea's most senior officials at the opening ceremony, including North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister.

Through his sister, Kim Jong Un has invited Moon for talks in Pyongyang, South Korean officials said, setting the stage for the first meeting of Korean leaders in more than a decade.

Some South Koreans, however, are skeptical about the sudden rapprochement between the North and the South.

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