PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Feb 14, 2018, 4:09 AM ET

South Korea agrees to pay expenses for North Korea's Olympic delegation

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South Korea approved $2.64 million from the government to foot the bill for North Korea’s participation in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics on Wednesday, according to the Unification Ministry.

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The South and North Exchange and Cooperation Promotion Council approved the funds that will cover costs spent on tickets to the Olympic Games, accommodations, food and transportation.

Eligible beneficiaries include the 424 North Koreans comprising its cheering squad, taekwondo performers, orchestra and journalists.

The final number for the total payment will be released after the games.

PHOTO: North Korean cheerleaders walk through Ojukheon House, one of the oldest traditional Korean houses in South Korea, in Gangneung, Feb. 13, 2018.Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images
North Korean cheerleaders walk through Ojukheon House, one of the oldest traditional Korean houses in South Korea, in Gangneung, Feb. 13, 2018.

For the two visits by North Korea’s site survey inspectors last month before the Olympics, an additional $27,000 had been approved and spent to cover the expenses.

"The North Korean delegation's participation in various forms is serving as a pretty good opportunity to [achieve] Seoul's goal to hold an Olympics of peace and becoming an important chance for harmony that improves the inter-Korean relationship and opens up the door for peace on the Korean Peninsula,” said Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon.

He also stressed that South Korea has kept United Nations sanctions and other international restrictions as it hosts the North Korean members.

Members of North Koreas taekwondo demonstration team perform in Seoul on Feb. 13, 2018.Jaesang Lee
Members of North Korea's taekwondo demonstration team perform in Seoul on Feb. 13, 2018.

The arrangement was part of the deal struck between North and South Korea to promote inter-Korean cooperation last month after South Korean President Moon Jae-in had invited the North to the Olympics in an attempt to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula over North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.

The funds approved Wednesday do not include costs for hosting the high-level delegation, including North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s younger sister Kim Yo Jong and its ceremonial head of state, Kim Yong Nam. Still, those expenses will be paid by the South and North Talks funds, a different department within the same Unification Ministry.

PHOTO: North Korean leader Kim Jong Uns sister Kim Yo Jong arrives at Jinbu station to attend the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang on Feb. 9, 2018. AFP/Getty Images
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister Kim Yo Jong arrives at Jinbu station to attend the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang on Feb. 9, 2018.

The International Olympics Committee will bankroll expenses for the 22 North Korean athletes competing in Pyeongchang.

Additional expenses are expected to occur due to the 150-person North Korean delegation that will be sent to the Paralympic Winter Games next month. Those costs will be handled by the Unification Ministry in the near future.

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  • Thao D

    South korea should have nuclear weapons.Kim jong Un will kill south korea in the future

  • ctla567

    Hope they'll make peace with each other.

  • bpai99

    South Korea is being played for a fool by the North.

  • yaknowwhat

    Paying for 400 plus cheerleaders? Really?
    I thought Kim Jerk Un's sister seemed a little snarky.

  • Mr. Logical

    North Korea is declaring victory.

    Now that they have the ability to deliver nukes by ICBM, they're switching quickly to peace maneuvers, to undermine opposition to the nukes. They're taking nukes off the front page so that diplomatically it will be impossible to strike them and disable their capabilities.

    Sadly, this is working.

  • Katy D

    That's what happens when you spend all your money on your military. None left for your people.

  • briteleaf

    If South Korea wants to reunify with the communist dictatorship of North Korea, let's leave South Korea and let them live in the gulags of North Korea where they can come to understand where they just went wrong. To pay the expenses of North Korea when there are severe trade restrictions aimed at defunding the military dictatorship is not acceptable. Let the South Koreans vote on welcoming North Korea as their new government and let them have it if they wish.

  • BassPlyr73 Again

    Sometimes a little good will goes a long way.

  • Emma Lou #2

    boy that will show those communists.

  • 40acre

    Isn't that something. Kim got South Korea to pay for their travel/living expenses while Trump decided to charge the wall to US taxpayers despite his promise to get Mexico to pay for it. That should tell us something.....Does anyone know what that something should be?

  • Prophet With Honor

    It's their money, let 'em spend it.

  • DevilDoc7595

    Is it just me or does anyone else think that "Little Kim's" sister, Kim Yo Jong, looks somewhat like "Pharma-bro?" They both have that cocky smirk on their faces. I would not trust either one of them.

  • ItsOnlyaFleshWound

    What a JOKE: Yet another prosperous, "normal" country (China also comes to mind) footing the bill for Kim Jong Un's dysfunctional Stalinist state. NK can detonate nuclear weapons and put missiles in space but cannot feed or otherwise take care of its own people, who are always on someone else's dole. Shades of the USSR!

  • Beelzebub

    Kim has no true interest in closer relations much less re-unification. Re-unification would be the end of him as there would be no way to stop the the flow of reality about his regime that the people of NK would be exposed to. True closer relations pose the same danger and everything Kim, his father and grandfather have done is about holding onto power. Once in awhile they play nice in order to win some aid from SK and the rest of the world and once they have it, it's back to business as usual. They will play this latest gesture for all it's worth and within a few months, things will go back to being exactly as they were before.

  • Some guy

    North Korea treats the South like dirt and constantly threatens to blow them up with nukes and the South is stupid enough to pay millions for the North to attend the Olympics? The North is laughing there rear off at this deal. The South is a bunch of suckers to pay for the North's expenses.

  • Art Hegewald

    I wonder how NK will spin this. To most of the world it looks like NK could not afford the trip expenses so the wealthy, capitalist, free S. Koreans dropped some chump change to move reunification forward. Good for the South.

  • Robert Parker

    Probably worth it. Just letting some NK people out of NK to see what the country is missing has to affect them to their soul.

    When they go back, the memories will haunt them.

  • Ronald

    Proud of the Korean people for displaying a motion towards peace .

  • Metamorphosis

    Kill the sister, abduct the athletes and level Pyongyang. Then send the North the munitions bill.

  • ShawnLetwin

    Too funny. South Korea pays North Korea for doing site inspections. Can't wait until there is the next cyber crime weeks after the Olympics and S. Korea is plundered for millions through the internet by some "unknown" government cyber crime syndicate.

    Tigers don't change stripes overnight and the institution that survived as N. Korea for over half a century isn't going to be coming into S. Korea to unify and sing Kumbaya. Get ready South Korea to be "re-educated" Kim Jong-un style.

  • mikevietvet68/69

    something is not right there,just have north korea to lay-off a few weapons and nukes and that will pay the bill....someone is getting screwed....