CCTV News:A head of South Korea’s Unification Ministry said today (January 31st) that a 45-member South Korean ski delegation took a charter flight to the DPRK this morning to conduct a two-day joint training at the Ma Yuling Ski Resort in North Korea.
The person in charge said that the Korean delegation flew from Xiangyang Airport in Gangwon Province to Gema Airport in Yuanshan City, North Korea by charter flight this morning. After the joint training on February 1st, the Korean delegation will return to Xiangyang Airport by charter flight. At that time, the DPRK delegation will take the opportunity to visit South Korea with the Korean delegation, including Korean alpine skiers, cross-country skiers and coaches.
Maxiling ski resort
It is understood that more than 20 of the 45 South Korean delegations who went to North Korea to participate in joint training were athletes, and other personnel included auxiliary personnel and joint interview groups. According to the schedule, Korean and Korean athletes will have freestyle skiing training on the first day of training, and joint training and friendly matches will be held on the second day of training.
Previously, the ROK has been pushing the delegation to take a charter flight to the DPRK to participate in joint training. However, according to the latest US sanctions against the DPRK, aircraft passing through the DPRK are prohibited from entering the United States within 180 days. Therefore, the ROK has been negotiating with the United States recently, hoping that the United States will exclude the aircraft it took during its visit to the DPRK from the sanctions. It was not until this morning (January 31) that the ROK and the US reached an agreement on this matter.
In fact, this time, Korean athletes went to the DPRK for joint training, and it was only after many consultations between the ROK and the DPRK and field visits by the advance team that they finally made it.
On January 17, representatives of the DPRK and the ROK reached an agreement on a number of issues concerning the DPRK’s delegation to participate in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, including the joint training of Korean and Korean skiers at the Mashiling Ski Resort in North Korea.
On January 23, a 12-member Korean advance team entered North Korea by land via the North-South Exit-Entry Office, and started a three-day trampling for the Korean-Korean joint cultural activities and joint skiing training.
On the 24th, the South Korean advance team focused on the Maxiling Ski Resort and Gema Airport. During the three-day visit to the DPRK, the advance team all stayed at the Maxiling Hotel to inspect the accommodation facilities for Korean athletes going to the DPRK for joint training.
Maxiling Ski Resort, located in Xinfengli, Yuanshan District, gangwon, North Korea, is one of the key construction projects in North Korea. It is about two hours’ drive from the Korean-Korean military demarcation line and about 200 kilometers from Pyeongchang. The ski resort was built in 2013 according to the instructions of Kim Jong-un, the top leader of North Korea, and includes a number of ski trails, a hotel, a helipad and a ski lift.
60% of Koreans are optimistic about North Korea’s participation
According to a survey released by a polling agency in South Korea today, about 60% of Koreans have a positive attitude towards North Korea’s participation in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics. 1,074 adults in South Korea accepted the survey, and the results showed that 61% of the respondents gave positive comments on the participation of North Korean athletes, and 58% of the respondents had a positive attitude towards the joint cheerleading team between South Korea and North Korea.
The PyeongChang Winter Olympics will be held from February 9 to 25. Kim Jong-un, the top leader of North Korea, expressed his intention to participate in the Winter Olympics for the first time in his New Year message on the 1st of this month, stressing the need to improve relations between the DPRK and the ROK in the new year, which received a positive response from the ROK.