Frosty relations thaw as South Korea pays North Korea’s Winter Olympics costs

16 Feb 18

South Korea has agreed to pay the $2.64m bill for North Korea’s participation at the Winter Olympics from its unification ministry budget. 

The bill includes entry fees, accommodation and transport for musicians, cheerleaders and press as well as taekwondo performers.

A group of more than 400 North Korean supporters and performers travelled to South Korea for the event.

According to Reuters, the majority of the visitors stayed at luxury hotels in Seoul and near the venues in Pyeongchang.

The Ministry of Unification is an executive department of the South Korean government aimed at promoting Korean reunification. The ministry’s exchange and cooperation promotion council on Wednesday approved the payment of bills.

The cost of hosting the athletes will mainly be paid by the International Olympic Committee while the cost for the country’s high level political delegation visiting the south will be paid from the government budget, said ministry spokesperson Baik Tae-hyun.

South Korea also paid the expenses when more North Koreans visited the south during the Asian Games in 2002.

The council set aside just under $1m for entrance fees to the games as well as $100,000 for transportation costs.

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