The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on January 19 that almost 400 Russian athletes have been deemed eligible to potentially compete under a neutral flag in next month's Winter Olympics in the South Korean city of Pyeongchang.
The gathering brought together officials from the Olympic committees of North and South Korea, the International Olympic Committee, and the organizing committee of the PyeongChang Games.
With that as a backdrop, Yonhap reported that the South and North had also agreed Wednesday to field a joint women's ice hockey team for the games and that the North will send a 230-member cheering squad, along with a 30-member taekwondo demonstration team to the South.
"Let us not forget that such an agreement would have seemed impossible only a few weeks ago".
North Korea NOC President Il Guk Kim signs the declaration for North Korean athletes to participate in South Korea's Olympics.More news: Russian money laundering probed at Trump's Doonbeg golf course
The IOC will grant accreditations to 22 athletes from the DPRK who will compete in three sports and five disciplines, including figure skating, short track speed skating, cross country skiing, Alpine skiing, and in a united women's hockey team.
The 22 North Korean athletes will march alongside the South Koreans athletes in the Opening Ceremony on February 9 under the Korean Unification Flag and the sole country name of "Korea".
There will be one female and one male athlete flagbearer leading the delegation in a special uniform with the Korean Unification Flag.
No North Korean athlete had technically qualified for Pyeongchang, so Saturday's announcement required extending qualification deadlines in the sports concerned.
"As of today, the original pre-registration pool of 500 athletes has already been reduced by 111 by the Panel", the International Olympic Committee said in a statement.More news: Trump weighs in on immigration, funding talks: 'Working on it'
The PyeongChang Games have "opened the door for peaceful dialogue on the Korean peninsula", and shown that "Olympic sport always builds bridges" and "never erects walls", Bach said.
A seven-member North Korean team had been scheduled to visit on Saturday to check venues for the performances, the ministry said, but late on Friday North Korea cancelled the visit.
North Korea's participation in the Olympics has been seen as a win for South Korea president Moon Jae-in.
An IOC spokesperson confirmed that the North Korean athletes will stay in the Olympic village, quashing speculation that they may have chosen to sleep on a boat to avoid residing on Southern soil.
They are due to be accompanied by 24 coaches and officials and 21 media representatives.More news: Ostia, individuati gli ultimi due componenti della baby gang di Capodanno
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov said he did not rule out the possibility that a North Korean delegation could visit Moscow ahead of the Games.