Olympics: N. Korea says work cut out after talks with IOC

North Korea offers talks with South Korea on Winter Olympics art troupe

Jarrod Agen, Pence's deputy chief of staff, said Pence would travel to the Olympics "to reinforce the strong USA presence on the Korean Peninsula and send a clear message of American resolve to the North Korean regime".

South Korea's unification ministry and sports and tourism ministry, however, both said they have no knowledge of the matter.

North Korea confirmed on Tuesday that it will send a delegation of athletes to the Olympics, which take place in Pyeongchang next month, despite the two countries technically still being at war.

Before the meeting, South Korea has proposed working-level talks with North Korea on Monday at the truce village of Panmunjeom.

A joint march at the opening ceremony would be a stunning statement for the "Peace Olympics", which will open about 80km from the heavily fortified Korean border on Feb 9.

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"The OCA is heartened by the announcement on Tuesday and looks forward to seeing the flags of two of our member National Olympic Committees flying high together at PyeongChang 2018".

North Korea boycotted the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul, meaning Pyeongchang will be the first Olympics they have attended in the South. (AFP) KIS.

Hopes of North Korean participation in Pyeongchang rose after the regime's leader, Kim Jong-un, said on New Year's Day he was willing to discuss sending athletes. The two teams even played each other, with the South defeating the North 3-0 in division play.

However, the International Olympic Committee has said it will consider offering wildcards to North Korean athletes. In 1991, they joined forces at the World Table Tennis championships and the football under-20 World Cup.

A White House official said Wednesday that Pence will attend the games, scheduled for February 9-25 in Pyeongchang.

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