Koreas begin talks on North's performing arts group's Olympic visit

Koreas begin talks on North's performing arts group's Olympic visit

Koreas begin talks on North's performing arts group's Olympic visit

In a joint statement after the 11-hour talks, North Korea pledged to send a large delegation to next month's Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in the South, but made a "strong complaint" after Seoul proposed talks to denuclearise the Korean peninsula.

Four officials from each side started Monday's working-level meeting at Panmunjom, Seoul's Unification Ministry said.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Monday urged some South Korean media to stop "messing up" the on-going inter-Korean talks, as the two sides are holding the second round of talks at the truce village of Panmunjom.

North Korea's best-known pop group could join the country's athletes and cheerleaders at next month's Winter Olympics in South Korea - provided their repertoire omits the revolutionary songs that have made them hugely popular at home.

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North Korea will send a delegation consisting of athletes, high-ranking officials and a cheering squad, while South Korea will provide the delegation with necessary services.

The North has said its delegation to the Winter Games in Pyeongchang would include artists, officials and journalists, as well as athletes.

At the same time, North Korea's International Olympics Committee (IOC) official said it is considering South Korea's proposal for a united female hockey team.

The KCNA also accused South Korea of letting the United States send another nuclear aircraft carrier, Stennis, to the West Pacific during the Peyongchang Olympics, despite its agreement with Washington to postpone joint military drills during the games.

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Starting in Cheorwon County on Sunday, the torch will travel through 18 major cities and towns in the eastern province before reaching the host county of PyeongChang for the February 9 opening ceremony of the country's first Winter Games.

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Tensions have been high over Pyongyang's programme of nuclear tests and missile launches and last week's talks have been seen as a positive development.

"In that sense, we hope that the talks will go smoothly and help our art troupe perform well in the South, " he said, according to pool reports from the talks, which took place on the northern side of the Demilitarized Zone.

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In a press conference held last week, South Korea's president gave Donald Trump some of the credit in helping to lead the two Koreas to speaking, saying Trump "did a lot", and adding that he wanted to "convey his thanks".

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