North Korea has requested the South Korean government to allow its women's ice hockey team to participate in the International Ice Hockey Federation Women's World Championship in Gangneung, Gangwon Province next month.

"We have received an application from the North Korean team through the IIHF, and we are currently reviewing it," an official at the Ministry of Unification said Tuesday.

The South Korean government reportedly plans to approve the application as it is an international sporting event. The North Korean team will consist of 20 players and 10 staff including coaches. In the application, they stated that they will fly into Korea from a third country, and plan to stay in the South from April 1 to 9.

The championship will be held from April 2 to 8 with the showdown between the two Koreas taking place on April 6.

Meanwhile, South Korean women footballers plan to visit North Korea for the preliminary round for the Asian Football Confederation Women's Asian Cup in Pyongyang next month.

The Unification Ministry has requested a guarantee of safety from the North Korean government. Once a response from the North with such a guarantee is returned, the [South] Korea Football Association will submit the plan for approval to the Unification Ministry.

"This is just part of international sports events, and has nothing to do with bilateral relations," an official at the Unification Ministry said.

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