North Korea Olympic team transportation could violate sanctions

By Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |  Jan. 12, 2018 at 9:53 AM
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Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Concern is rising in Seoul that sanctions could be violated during North Korea's attendance at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, after the two sides agreed Friday to hold working-level talks on Monday.

The talks are to include discussions of logistics for the North Korean delegation, accommodations and security, The Korea Times reported.

Following the talks, points of agreement will be finalized in Lausanne, Switzerland, during the inter-Korea sports dialogue at the International Olympic Committee, according to the report.

There are numerous routes the North Koreans could use to arrive at the Winter Games.

Air Koryo, North Korea's national passenger airliner, is under review as a possible choice, although the airline has been under South Korean sanctions since 2016, Yonhap TV reported Friday.

According to the report, the current South Korean administration has not ruled out the use of Air Koryo to carry the delegation, because the sanctions target the financial activities of the airline and not air routes.

Seoul also expects no conflict between organizing air transportation and international sanctions, as the plane would be used for civilian and peaceful purposes.

But South Korea could face difficulties if North Korea decides to use the Man Gyong Bong to dispatch its Olympians.

The vessel is under South Korean sanctions implemented during the previous Park Geun-hye administration.

Opinion among South Korean analysts is divided over whether North Korea will choose the ferry option, according to reports.

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