UN lifts travel ban on North Korean official for PyeongChang Winter Olympics

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The UN has granted a North Korean an official exemption from sanctions for the Winter Olympics in South korea.
The lifting of the travel ban comes with the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games set to take place in less than twleve hours time.
Lee Seung-jae has the latest.
The UN committee overseeing sanctions against North Korea,... formally granted an exemption for Choe Hwi,... who will now travel with his country's high-level delegation to South Korea.

Choe is the chairman of Pyongyang's National Sports Guidance Committee... but also headed the regime's propaganda department previously.
He has been on a UN sanctions blacklist since June last year, which banned him from traveling and froze his assets.

The official was included in North Korea's Olympics delegation list provided by Pyongyang on Tuesday.
Seoul formally requested that the UN allow all members of the proposed delegation to come, saying it will, quote, "serve as a timely opportunity to reduce tensions on the Korean Peninsula and beyond."

However, the request came at a time when the international community's main policy on the regime is pressure and sanctions, and with North Korea showing no interest in giving up its nuclear program.
The move opens up the Moon administration to criticism of pandering to Pyongyang, but the potential rewards mean it's a risk Seoul is willing to take.

"If, through these efforts,... steps are made toward North Korea's denuclearization, or lead to lasting peace on the Peninsula, then for the Moon administration it would be worth it. How they are judged will depend on the gains they make after the Olympics."

With the greenlight given, Choe will join other officials in the delegation that will arrive in South Korea on Friday for the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games.
Lee Seung-jae, Arirang News.

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