04:17 GMT +319 September 2018
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    North Korea's women ice hockey athletes arrive at the South's CIQ (Customs, Immigration and Quarantine), just south of the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas in Paju

    North Korea Hockey Players Arrive in South Korea Ahead of Olympics

    © REUTERS / Yonhap
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - North Korean athletes crossed into South Korea on Thursday where they will compete in next month’s Olympic Games as part of a unified Korean women ice hockey team, local media said.

    Twelve ice hockey players arrived in the morning at the customs office in the South Korean border city of Paju, accompanied by a delegation of eight sports officials, the Yonhap news agency reported.

    The two countries agreed this month after several rounds of talks to send a joint hockey team to Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in an effort to ease bilateral tensions triggered by the North’s ballistic and nuclear tests.

    The South Korean media outlet said a total of 22 North Korean athletes will participate in three sports events, in addition to the ice hockey team, which will inspect the rink later in the day.

    Earlier, the International Ice Hockey Federation praised the agreement between Seoul and Pyongyang to field a joint team in women's hockey, saying that the joint team would positively reflect the Olympic ideals of social development and peace through sport.

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    Tags:
    hockey, 2018 Winter Olympics, South Korea, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK)
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