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Over half of S. Koreans agree on supporting N.K. Olympic group's travel expenses

All News 11:16 January 08, 2018

SEOUL, Jan. 8 (Yonhap) -- More than half of South Koreans approve of helping cover the expenses that North Korea's athletes and cheering squad would incur if they join the upcoming Winter Olympics in South Korea, a poll showed Monday.

The Realmeter survey, conducted Friday, said 54.4 percent of 505 respondents agreed with the government assisting with costs for the North Korean delegation's sojourn during the PyeongChang Olympics, while 41.4 percent of them were negative. The sporting event is scheduled for Feb. 9-25.

By ideological disposition, 71.5 percent of progressive pollees favored support, while 62 percent of the conservative ones were against it.

By region, Gwangju and Jeolla provinces showed the highest approval rate with 67.7 percent, followed by Seoul (58 percent), Gyeonggi and Incheon (56.6 percent) and Busan and South Gyeongsang Province (55.3 percent). On the other hand, 54.2 percent of the pollees in Daejeon and Chungcheong provinces were negative over the aid, according to the survey.

Respondents who support the ruling leftist Democratic Party showed a 78.8 percent approval rate, followed by those who support the progressive Justice Party and center-rightist Bareun Party with 68.1 percent 47.5 percent, respectively. The pollees who support the center-leftist People's Party marked 44.4 percent, and only 19.4 percent of those who support the conservative Liberty Korea Party were affirmative.

Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon, South Korea's chief delegate to the first high-level inter-Korean talks in more than two years, reports to work at his office in downtown Seoul on Jan. 8, 2018, the eve of the planned meeting at the border village of Panmunjom to discuss Pyongyang's possible participation in the Feb. 9-25 PyeongChang Winter Olympics. (Yonhap)

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