Korea orchestra to perform in S. Korea during Winter Games

Last week, North Korea agreed to send a national delegation to next month's Winter Olympics following high-level talks, held between the two countries for the first time in two years.

The two governments agreed North Korea will send a delegation comprising athletes and high-ranking officials to the Winter Games at minister-level talks held in Panmunjom on January 9.

Talks came together after North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un sent an overture in his New Year's Day address that the Olympics would be a "good occasion" to show the greatness of the Korean people and suggested that Pyongyang was willing to send a delegation to the Games.

"(During the morning session of the meeting), North Korea informed us of a plan to send its Olympic Committee, athletes, cheerleading squad, taekwondo demonstrators, and press corps through the land route in the western region", the Unification Ministry said Wednesday.

Separately, South Korean Sports Ministry spokesman Hwang Seong Un said that the two Koreas have agreed in principle to field a joint women's ice hockey team.

The statement also criticized South Korean President Moon Jae-in's new year speech last week, in which he said U.S. President Donald Trump deserved "big credit" for inter-Korean talks.

The concerts, if they go ahead, would mark the first time that a North Korean artistic troupe has performed in the capitalist South since 2002, during a previous rare period of rapprochement. The two Koreas have agreed to hold talks around various fields, including this issue, which we will discuss further as part of discussions on South-North relations.

Critics question how long the warmer mood can last without any serious discussion on the North's nuclear disarmament.

"They should know that train and bus carrying our delegation to the Olympics are still in Pyongyang", the North's official Korean Central News Agency said.

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Guterres said recent moves by South and North Korea to ease tensions were important, but he added: "let's not forget that the essential problem is yet to be solved". The venues where the North Korean band is likely to perform are the Seoul Arts Center and the Gangneung Culture and Art Center.

"We will as ever strive to improve the North-South ties but will never remain an onlooker to sordid acts of chilling the efforts".

There is a high probability that North Korean skiers will compete at the Paralympics as reports of the team's training sessions have been surfacing since past year.

The North also on Monday proposed holding talks at Panmunjom on Wednesday on logistics and details for the visit by the North's athletes.

"The United States is the ringleader threatening the peace of the Korean Peninsula and obstructing the unification of Koreans", it said.

10- North Korea, meanwhile, has reiterated that the return of a dozen citizens who entered South Korea in 2016.is a precondition for resuming reunions of separated families.

In the United States, there has been considerable media coverage on talks between the United States and North Korea.

China and Russian Federation, which fought alongside the North in the Korean War and were not invited to Vancouver, criticized the meeting.

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