North Korean ice hockey team permitted to compete in South

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) South Korea has approved the North Korean women's ice hockey team to compete in an international event next month at Gangneung, a venue for the 2018 Olympics.

Seoul's Unification Ministry on Wednesday said the North Korean team would be permitted to stay from April 1-9 to participate in the group rounds of the Ice Hockey Women's World Championship.

North Korean athletes haven't competed in South Korea since the 2014 Asian Games at Incheon.

Relations between the rival Koreas have significantly worsened over the past year after a series of rocket launches by North Korea.

The women's world championship is one of the many sports events South Korea plans to host at its Olympic facilities to prepare for next the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games.

North Korea is scheduled to open against Australia in Group A in the tournament's second division begins on April 2 in the city of Gangneung, which will host hockey in next year's Olympics. South Korea, Britain, the Netherlands and Slovenia are the other teams in the group.

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