10:39 GMT06 June 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Pyongyang might demand that Seoul lift economic restrictions imposed on North Korea and renew bilateral economic projects and humanitarian aid deliveries in exchange for the North's taking part in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, a report by the South Korean Institute for National Security Strategy said Monday.

    In his New Year address to the nation, North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un expressed hope that North Korean athletes might participate in the forthcoming Olympics, for this purpose a meeting between the delegations of the two countries might be held in the near future.

    "In exchange for that, it cannot be ruled out that it would demand Seoul lift economic sanctions against it and resume economic cooperative projects and humanitarian aid," the report said.

    According to the report, Pyongyang might also insist on the suspension of military exercises between the United States and South Korea on the peninsula and on Washington's cessation of strategic assets' deployment on the South Korean territory.

    READ MORE: Putin Not Coming to South Korea Winter Olympics

    The tensions around North Korea's nuclear weapons program have been high recently due to the repeated nuclear and weapons tests carried out by Pyongyang in violation of the UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. In late December 2017, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said that the United States and South Korea were considering the possibility of halting military exercises to reduce tensions before the Olympic Games.

    The 2018 Olympic Winter Games will take place in Pyeongchang on February 9-25. The South Korean resort city is located just 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the border with North Korea.

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    Tags:
    sanctions, Olympic Games, UN Security Council, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), South Korea
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