North Korean delegates arrived in Seoul today on their way to inspect venues and prepare cultural performances for next month’s Winter Olympics.
This is the first visit by Pyongyang officials to the South Korea in the last four years. The two-day visit is also the first by North Korean officials to the South since left leaning South Korean President Moon Jae-In, who advocates dialogue with the North, took office last May.
The trip comes two weeks after the neighbours agreed to send Pyongyang’s athletes, cheerleaders, artistic troupes and other delegates to the Games, due to begin in the South’s alpine resort of Pyeongchang on February 9.
International Olympics Committee (IOC) yesterday endorsed the deal, saying the North will send 22 athletes in sports ranging from figure skating to short-track speed skating.
The two nations also agreed to march together at an opening ceremony under a unification flag and to form a joint women’s ice hockey team.
Under the cross-border deal, the North’s 140-member orchestra led by Hyon will hold two concerts one in the capital Seoul and another in Gangneung during the Olympics.
Seoul will also send skiers to the North’s Masikryong ski resort for joint training with nothern skiers and hold a joint cultural event in the scenic Mount Kumgang area north of the border.>