IOC Chief Bach Met With N.Korean Leader Kim Jong-un: KCNA

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The IOC said Bach's delegation will have discussions on the "further development of sport in the DPRK after the successful participation of athletes at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018; and the preparation of athletes from the NOC [National Olympic Committee] of the DPRK with the objective of qualifying for and participating in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, as well as the Youth Olympic Games 2020 and 2022".

The German met with Kim for a formal 30 minute meeting and the duo also informally spoke while watching a football match at May Day Stadium in capital city Pyongyang. During the visit, Bach met with senior North Korean officials and visited several sporting facilities.

The North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Bach told Kim the trip was to "express the most heartfelt thanks" to North Korea's leader for helping make February's the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics a Games that were "symbolic of peace".

North Korea's ruling party newspaper, the Rodong Sinmun, carried a front-page photo of the meeting on Saturday.

Both the North and South hailed the Pyeongchang Games as a significant step toward easing tensions on the Korean peninsula.

North Korea will take part in the next two Olympic Games held in Tokyo and Beijing, Intenational Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said Saturday.

Earlier on March 9, North Korea had sent a 20-member delegation to South Korea for participating in the PyeongChang Paralympics event.

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Kim is to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in on April 27.

The North Korean team united with the team of its southern neighbor, marching under the Korean Unification Flag during the opening ceremony, while also forming a single women's ice hockey team.

A North Korean team has participated at every addition of the Summer Olympics since they boycotted Seoul 1988.

Trump is then due to meet Kim before the end of May for talks on Pyongyang's denuclearisation.

Hopes have been raised that the North Korean leader may be willing to discuss his nuclear weapons program and other measures to reduce the threat of war, possibly in exchange for security guarantees and an easing of the global sanctions that have severely pinched the already struggling North Korean economy.

The IOC approved an inter-Korean agreement on the North's participation on January 20 at its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.

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