SEOUL, Sept. 30 (Yonhap) -- South Korea is expected to offer as much as 1 billion won (US$947,000) to financially support North Korea's participation in the ongoing Incheon Asian Games, an official said Tuesday.
The government is willing to pay for most of the cost of the North's delegation if needed, he said, requesting anonymity.
"We will likely set the specific amount of financial assistance from the South-North Cooperation Fund after the departure of the North Korean delegation and calculation of its exact cost," he said.
Seoul is preparing to pay as much as 1 billion won, which would cover the rental of satellite broadcast equipment, worth around 400 million won, and the cost of stay at the athletes' village, he said.
The North has sent a 273-member team to the games scheduled to finish on Saturday.
The government is taking similar previous cases into account, added the official.
In 2002, the South provided the North with 870 million won to help finance its participation in the Busan Asian Games.
Another government official said Seoul will first ask Pyongyang whether it intends to share the cost and how much it wants to pay if so.
"There is a possibility that the actual financial support will be 700-800 million won," the official said, also speaking on condition of anonymity.
Earlier this month, the organizing committee for the Incheon games formally requested the government to use taxpayers' money to share the financial burden of the North joining the event.
South Korea has earmarked more than 1 trillion won from the South-North Cooperation Fund for inter-Korean exchanges.