March 04, 2016

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) The IOC has approved the proposed merger between South Korea's Olympic committee and the country's sports council.

Delegations from both South Korean bodies met with IOC officials on Friday in Lausanne to discuss plans to merge the Korean Olympic Committee and the Korea Council of Sport for All.

The International Olympic Committee described the talks as ''very positive and productive'' and said all sides agreed the merger ''will have a very positive impact.''

The IOC called it ''a major and historic step for the development of the Olympic Movement and sport in general in Korea.''

It said the merger will take place ''in accordance with the rules of the Olympic Charter.''

Concerns had been raised previously that a merger could threaten the independence of the Olympic committee.

The IOC said the merger is to be completed by March 27.

South Korea is preparing to host the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang.

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