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South Korea works around sanctions to send skiers to North

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Seoul, Jan 29 (UITV/IANS) - South Korea announced on Monday that it would charter a plane to fly its skiers to North Korea for joint training to avoid paying airport tariffs that would violate international economic sanctions on the North, a spokesperson from South Korea's Ministry of Unification said.

Seoul is working around a large number of sanctions that have been imposed on Pyongyang while organising and coordinating the various joint events related to the Winter Olympics that is set to begin in the South Korean city of PyeongChang next month, EFE news reported.

The skiers will fly to Kalma Airport in the North, which is located close to the city of Wonsan in the country's eastern coast, and from where they will travel overland to the Masikryong Ski Resort, where the training session is likely to begin from Wednesday onward.

However, if Seoul charters a plane from an airline which provides flights to the US too, it would violate sanctions imposed by Washington in September last year, following the last weapons test by North Korea.

On September 3, US President Donald Trump had signed an executive order that prohibited aircraft and ships travelling to North Korea from travelling to the US within 180 days.

Seoul has said it is consulting with Washington in order to work around the sanctions.

Seoul might also need to transport generator diesel to Pyongyang as the country lacks the resources necessary to ensure a stable energy supply in the hotel where the event will be held.

This again might violate US- as well as UN-imposed sanctions on the amount of hydrocarbons that can be exported to North Korea.