Officials of North Korea and South Korea will meet today to try to resolve the question of staging part of the 1988 Olympic Games in Pyongyang in North Korea. The session at the International Olympic Committee's headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, is the fourth joint meeting since North Korea demanded in late 1985 to serve as co-host the Games, which had been awarded to Seoul four years earlier.
IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch said the session would aim at "the conclusion of a definite agreement," and there were signs that he was prepared for marathon discussions, at least through Thursday if progress was being made.
North Korea wants at least 8 of the 23 Olympic sports, roughly equivalent to the percentage of the population of the Korean peninsula living above the 38th Parallel.
If its demands are not met, the Pyongyang government has threatened to lead a boycott of the Games.
In the last face-to-face talks in June of 1986, the IOC offered the North two sports, table tennis and archery, and parts of two others, soccer and cycling.
That plan was immediately accepted by the South Koreans and agreed to "in principle" by North Korea at a meeting with the IOC's executive board last February.
But barely had Samaranch announced the tentative acceptance when North Korean officials reiterated their demands for more sports.