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Inter-Korean talks on N. Korea's participation in Incheon Asian Games begin Updated: 2014-07-17 16:28:36 KST

 Inter-Korean talks on N. Korea's participation in Incheon Asian Games begin

Departing for the border village of Panmunjom for Thursday's working-level talks, South Korea's chief delegate said general issues surrounding the North's participation in the upcoming Asian Games would be up for discussion.

"The working-level meeting is aimed at discussing practical issues regarding the participation of North Korean athletes and cheering squad members in the Incheon Asian Games. We enter the talks with sincerity, with a goal of successfully hosting the Games."

Key agenda items in Thursday's talks are the transportation and accommodations of the North Korean delegation at the Games, and how their expenses will be covered.
Also in question is just how many cheerleaders North Korea plans to bring across the border.
If they plan to send a large number, as they've previously hinted, the squad might travel by ferry and use it as a place to stay, as they did during the 2002 Asian Games, which were hosted in the South Korean city of Busan.
North Korea may also propose forming a joint cheering team and creating united teams for certain events.
So far, South Korea has not been keen on the idea.
Some experts say the Asian Games could become a platform for Pyongyang to show its sincerity.

"So if it works, I think they will be able to say, see, we meant what we said and let's try something else, let's have a second step. Maybe it will change perceptions in the South enough so that a second step will be easier."

The two sides are not expected to reach an agreement in their first meeting on Thursday.
It's expected they'll need to hold additional rounds of talks before the Incheon Asian Games begin on September 19th.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.
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