Daily News

1. IOC, 2 Koreas to hold talks Saturday

North and South Korea have agreed to form a joint women's ice hockey team for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in the South. The 2 countries' athletes and officials will march together under a "unified Korea" flag at the opening ceremony.

Delegates from the 2 Koreas reached these agreements at talks on Wednesday on the South's side of the Panmunjom truce village.

Officials from the 2 Koreas and others will meet on Saturday in Switzerland to decide on the size of the delegation of athletes from the North and in what events they will take part at next month's Olympics. The talks will be held among officials from the International Olympic Committee, the countries' Olympic Committees, and the PyeongChang Games organizing committee.

A joint news statement released after Wednesday's meeting also says the North will send a cheerleading squad of more than 230 members, and they will cheer for athletes jointly with South Korean cheering groups.

North Korean athletes are to travel to the South on February 1st and the cheerleading squad, reporters, and others on February 7th by way of a land route.

The 2 Koreas will hold joint training for the Games at the Masikryong ski resort in the east of North Korea. The resort was developed at the instruction of leader Kim Jong Un.

The countries will also hold a joint cultural event at Mount Kumgang in the North's southeast before the Olympics.

South Korea's Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung later told reporters that it's meaningful for the South and North to show unity.

He was asked whether the South would shoulder the cost of the North's participation. Chun only said there has been no concrete discussion on any costs.

Cost shouldering is likely to become a problem, as the international community is stepping up sanctions against the North, which has been pressing ahead with its nuclear and missile programs.

As regards the Paralympics in March, the 2 countries agreed that the North will send a delegation of more than 150 people. They include athletes, cheerleaders, and an artistic group.