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North Korea leaves South Korea with $2.6m Olympic bill

South Korea is picking up the tab for hundred of members of North Korea’s delegation — including athletes, cheerleaders, performers and more — to be at this year’s Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.

But that news isn’t breaking: South Korea agreed to cover costs of the northern neighbours during the talks about their participation in the Games.

However on according to a Wall Street journal report Wednesday, the South and North Exchange Cooperation Promotion Council agreed to use over $2.6 million (U.S.) of South Korean government funds to pay for the North’s expenses while in PyeongChang.

These expenses include hotel bills for North Korean leader’s sister Kim Jo Jong’s stay at Grand Walkergill Seoul, a five-star hotel where she stayed with the 137- member orchestra, and the rooms for the 230-member cheerleading squad who stayed at the Inje Speedium resort near the Games for around $330 a night.

And according to officials, the IOC (which cleared the way for North Korea’s participation) is meeting the costs for their 22 athletes’ stay in the Olympic Village. Some of those athletes participating on the same team as South Korean athletes (women’s hockey).

It’s not an unprecedented stance on the part of South Korea; they have paid the North’s expenses at previous international sporting competitions as well, such as the Asian Games in 2002 and 2006.

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