Kim Jong-un met IOC President Thomas Bach ©Getty Images

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un today during his visit to the country.

The historic meeting was confirmed by the secretive state's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

Bach was "warmly welcomed" by Kim and they spoke in a "warm and friendly atmosphere", it was reported by KCNA.

The pair watched a football match together at May Day Stadium in capital city Pyongyang.

It fllows North Korea's participation at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea last month.

Discussions today included talks on North Korean participation at the Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 Games.

"He [Kim] explained to the chairman of the International Olympic Committee about Korea's physical education policy and its prospects," KCNA said.

"He said that he expects a close cooperation with the International Olympic Committee and a good cooperation in the development and uplifting of athletic sports such as winter athletics and other sports in accordance with the global trend."

Bach was also invited to come to North Korea "often, as a friend", it was reported.

"I am very grateful to the International Olympic Committee for its unwavering commitment to us regardless of any political environment and conditions, and we will continue to have a positive and active partnership between our Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee," Kim reportedly said. 

The German and an IOC delegation arrived in the country yesterday and are due to depart tomorrow.

He also met with North Korean Sports Minister Kim Il-guk during his visit.

A total of 22 athletes from North Korea competed at Pyeongchang 2018 after an IOC-led four party meeting in Lausanne on January 20, which also involved South Korea and Games organisers.

IOC President Thomas Bach meets North Korea's Sports Minister Kim Il Guk ©Getty Images
IOC President Thomas Bach meets North Korea's Sports Minister Kim Il Guk ©Getty Images

Both Koreas, which are still technically at war, marched together at the Olympic Opening Ceremony and a joint ice hockey team played in the women's competition.

Further moves saw a squad of cheerleaders deployed and, arguably most significantly of all, a high-level North Korean delegation travelled which included Kim Yo-jong - the sister of the leader.

Bach was invited to North Korea at the January meeting with the IOC since claiming that the country's Winter Olympic appearance has sent a "message of peace" across the world.

According to Yonhap, he flew on Air Koryo from Chinese capital Beijing along with other members of the IOC delegation.

Pere Miro, the IOC's National Olympic Committees relations director, is among others to have made the trip.

The build-up to Pyeongchang 2018 featured strained rhetoric between Kim and United States President Donald Trump over North Korea's nuclear programme and missile launches.

Kim, however, made a surprise New Year's Day announcement that his country would be prepared to compete at the Games.

The two leaders have since agreed to meet while senior South Korean officials in Washington D.C. have claimed Kim is open to halting nuclear and missile tests and is "committed to denuclearisation".

Many people are still unconvinced that the cooling of tensions will be anything more than a momentary thing, however.