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South Korea requests UN to lift travel ban on North Korean official for PyeongChang Olympics Updated: 2018-02-08 10:01:55 KST

The United Nations has approved South Korea's request to lift a travel ban on a North Korean official for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
North Korea had included the official's name to their Olympic delegation on Tuesday.
We have on the line with us Kwon Jang-ho, at Seoul's foreign ministry, who has the latest details.
Jang-ho, it seems this was a very quick decision?

Yes, that's right Mark.
South Korea had only formally sent a request to the UN Security Council a few hours ago.
The UNSC's North Korea sanctions committee had until Thursday afternoon to make a decision, but it seems they wanted to give a quick approval.
The official in question is Choe Hwi.
Choe is the chairman of Pyongyang's National Sports Guidance Committee but also headed the regime's propaganda department previously.
He had been on a UN sanctions blacklist since June last year, which froze his overseas assets and prohibited him from traveling.

Seoul had asked the UN to allow the entire North Korean delegation to come, saying that it will, quote, "serve as a timely opportunity to reduce tensions on the Korean Peninsula and beyond."
There seems to have been help from the U.S. with State Department spokesperson Katina Adams telling Radio Free Asia earlier that they would help gain approval.
That comes despite Washington repeatedly saying that they will continue to put pressure on the regime.
But Adams expressed they understand Seoul's situation and as allies that they would help cooperate.
The full North Korean delegation now have the greenlight to come to the South, and they will be arriving on Friday, just in time for the opening ceremony.
Back to you, Mark.
Reporter : kwon@arirang.com
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