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Koreas agree to string it together for Olympics
17 January 2018, 02:11 | Tara Lloyd
Koreas agree to string it together for Olympics
Although it is still unclear whether North Korea had asked South Korea to raise the unification flag during the ceremonies, opposition camps questioned whether the move has been conducive to easing cross-border tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
During a second round of talks between the North and South at the border, North Korea agreed to send the 140-member Samjiyon Orchestra to South Korea for the Olympics.
In a meeting with visiting U.S. lawmakers, South Korea's top diplomat on Monday discussed North Korea's participation in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics and called for U.S. Congress' support for the successful hosting of the event.
The decision to host the orchestra "contributes to improving relations and recovering the cultural homogeneity" between the two Koreas, the South's ministry said.
Pyongyang last week pledged at the first face-to-face talks with Seoul since 2015 to send a delegation of athletes and high-level officials to Pyeongchang.
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South Korea had also reportedly proposed to hold military talks to reduce tension on the Korean Peninsula.
The International Olympic Committee plans to separately meet North and South Korean officials this weekend to discuss the North's Olympic participation.
North Korea carried out nuclear and missile tests previous year that triggered harsher United Nations sanctions and worldwide condemnation.
The KCNA criticized South Korean President Moon Jae-in for crediting President Donald Trump for getting the North to sit down with the South. Trump has contended his tough stance helped persuade the North to hold talks. "Frankly, I do not know what they meant by to "get prepared" since we do not have any channels to talk to the North Korean team", the official said.
However, more than 80 per cent who participated said they wanted North Korea to take part in general. He said more discussions are expected to work out details of North Korean performances.
"The South Korean authorities had better ponder over what unfavourable results may be entailed by their impolite behaviour". "But we ended up with the North Korean nuclear and missile program", said Rep. Kweon Seong-dong of the conservative Liberty Korea Party. However, North Korea held back on replying, and then counterproposed holding working-level consultations on Monday regarding sending an art troupe.
The North's delegates at Monday's meeting included Hyon Song-Wol, the leader of Pyongyang's famed all-female Moranbong music band, raising expectations the band would perform in the South.
South Korean conservatives worry about the implications of letting the band perform at the Pyeongchang Games. The North last sent such a group in 2002, according to Seoul's Unification Ministry.
Kim said that the North probably does not want to use the route linking to the Kaesong complex, the symbol of inter-Korean economic reconciliation, as Seoul closed the factory zone.
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Formed in 2012, when Kim was taking power, the outfit is modeled after a western girl band and has 10 members.
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