People pass by posters showing the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic mascots in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018.(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
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North Korea has offered to send more than 200 cheerleaders to the Winter Olympics in the South and attend the Paralympics, Seoul said as the two Koreas met Wednesday to discuss athlete numbers in the latest in a flurry of cross-border talks.Seoul has long sought to proclaim the event a "peace Olympics" in the face of tensions over the North's weapons programs -- which have seen it subjected to multiple UN Security Council sanctions -- and the discussions represent a marked improvement.An official at Seoul's unification ministry said the North offered to send 230 cheerleaders to the Olympics, and made clear it also intended to take part in the Paralympics in March.North Korea also proposed that its delegation travel by land through Kaesong, which lies on the main road from Pyongyang to Seoul.Overland travel may be the only option for the North as the neighbors have no direct flights between them and Seoul's unilateral sanctions against the regime ban any ship from its ports that has sailed to the North within the past 12 months.
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