South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman Noh Kyu-duk said North Korea would still be able to participate at Pyeongchang 2018 despite the recent listing © P.M. News Nigeria

The South Korean Foreign Ministry has said North Korea are still welcome at next year’s Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, which will take place between February 9 to 25, despite being labelled a "state sponsor of terrorism" by the United States. 

North Korea had been removed from a US list of state sponsored terrorists nine years ago but has now been re-instated by the Trump administration following an increase in tensions on the Korean Peninsula. 

North Korea called the re-listing "a serious provocation and a violent infringement upon our dignified country".

Despite the listing, South Korea still hope North Korea will participate in the 2018 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

Speaking about the listing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Noh Kyu-duk said: "The Government's position is that the latest measure would contribute to the approach of bringing North Korea to the negotiating table through strong sanctions and pressure so as to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue peacefully.

"In that vein, I don't think [the measure] has anything special to do with the Winter Olympics.

"In the case of the Pyeongchang Olympics, any country that has met certain qualifications may apply for participation through the International Olympic Committee and naturally be able to join."

United Sttes President Donald Trump recently labelled North Korea a
United Sttes President Donald Trump recently labelled North Korea a "state sponsor of terrorism" ©Getty Images

This is not the first time that South Korea have said that North Korea would be welcome at Pyeongchang 2018. 

Following a presentation of the Olympic Truce by Pyeongchang 2018 President Lee Hee-beom, at the United Nations last week, the South Korean Unification Ministry, who handle all inter-Korean dialogue and attempt to boost cooperation, made a statement.

"Just as the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul contributed to the dismantling of the eastern and western camps and the Cold War era, the Government could promote peace on the Korean Peninsula through the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and Paralympics, and further promote peace and cooperation on the Korean Peninsula," the Ministry said.

"We welcome the North's participation in the Pyeongchang Olympic Games at any time in anticipation of North Korea's response to the peace on the Korean Peninsula and the peaceful development of Northeast Asia and the world.

"If we can harmonise with each other, it will be a new beginning of peace on the Korean peninsula."

Any decision from North Korea, however, is likely to come very late, according to South Korean Sports Minister Do Jong-hwan.

The deadline for Olympic entries is January 29.