Feb. 13 (UPI) — North Korea’s participation in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics is coming at a hefty price tag, and South Korean taxpayers are being expected to foot the bill for the North Koreans participating in the Winter Games.
Seoul is to allocate about $2.7 million toward inter-Korea cooperation that will go directly to “support” for North Korean Olympians, local news service News 1 reported Wednesday.
According to South Korea’s unification ministry, the decision to provide assistance for the North Koreans is being made early Wednesday, and will go toward accommodations for North Korea’s cheerleading team, its performing artists, Taekwondo demonstrators, or more than 700 people who have no connection to competitive sports during the Olympics.
The funds do not include money that will go toward another 150 North Koreans participating in the March Paralympics, but Seoul is expected to finance their stay as well, according to the report.
The decision to finance the North Korean visit was made in January as part of the deal to assist the cash-strapped North.
Seoul has used the same “North-South Cooperation Fund” for previous events.
South Korea’s willingness to help North Korea during what President Moon Jae-in has described as the country’s “Peace” Olympics has been receiving positive reviews in Pyongyang.
The latest developments could mean Kim Jong Un could place a moratorium on provocations, CBS No Cut News reported Wednesday.
On Tuesday KCNA reported the North Korean leader thanked the South Korean government after being briefed on the visit by his sister Kim Yo Jong, who delivered a letter to Moon following the opening ceremony of the Winter Games.