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This is from an article in The New York Times.

Mr. Moon has been pressing Pyongyang for months to send a delegation to the Winter Olympics his nation is hosting next month. The proposal was effectively ignored until Mr. Kim used his annual New Year’s Day speech to signal he was “open to dialogue” with the South to discuss easing military tensions on the Korean Peninsula, as well as to sending North Korean athletes to join the Games.

Do we need 'to' before 'sending' here? The reason I am asking is that I read the last part:

he was “open to dialogue” with the South to discuss easing military tensions on the Korean Peninsula, as well as (he was “open to dialogue” with the South to discuss) sending North Korean athletes to join the Games.

If my way of reading is right, then I thought there shouldn't be 'to' before 'sending'.

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I think you can omit the to before the word sending. The latter part of the sentence would then be parsed like this:

...he was “open to dialogue” with the South to discuss:

  • easing military tensions on the Korean Peninsula, as well as
  • sending North Korean athletes to join the Games.

Whereas the original sentence is parsed like this:

...he was “open to dialogue” with the South

  • to discuss easing military tensions on the Korean Peninsula, as well as
  • to sending North Korean athletes to join the Games.

One could argue that a colon should be added if you opt to omit the to, as I have done here.

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  • I had overlooked the second half of his question there. I was wondering what he was talking about. – Nick Jan 4 '18 at 17:37
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Yes, you need the preposition "to" there. It's very easy to notice its necessity if you should remove the prior clause including everything that follows "open" all the way to the "to" that you are talking about:

"...Mr. Kim used his annual New Year’s Day speech to signal he was open...to sending North Korean athletes to join the Games."

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  • Thank you for answering. What about "to discuss easing ~~~ as well as to discuss sending~~~"? Is this absolutely a wrong way to read? – whitecap Jan 4 '18 at 6:55
  • "discuss" is a transitive verb in those situations, so it does not need a preposition; therefore, your forms are fine. – Nick Jan 4 '18 at 7:34
  • I thought 'sending' comes after 'discuss' and that was the reason I thought using 'to' before 'sending' is wrong. What I mean is "to discuss easing~~ as well as sending~~" omitting 'to'. – whitecap Jan 4 '18 at 8:00
  • I'm confused without more context, whitecap. You will have to add more context, but I'll try to explain what I think you mean right now. "sending" is a gerund there, so "to discuss sending" means "to discuss it". Do you see the transitivity there? Gerunds are verbals that act as nouns; ergo, "sending" is acting as a noun in your example. – Nick Jan 4 '18 at 8:05
  • The phrase "he was open to" is idiomatic; the "to" is a preposition opening up an indirect object, so the "sending" that follows the idiomatic expression "open to" is a gerund (a verbal acting as a noun). It basically means, "he was open to it." "He was open to what?" "He was open to sending North Korean athletes to join the Games." – Nick Jan 4 '18 at 8:13

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