N. Korean orchestra to play during Olympics in South


The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will host the meeting in Switzerland, which will be attended by representatives of the PyeongChang 2018 Organizing Committee, as well as delegations from the national Olympic committees of the two Koreas.

The North's delegates at yesterday'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.

North Korea's recent conciliatory moves in connection with the Olympics are widely viewed as an attempt to ease tensions after last year's nuclear and ballistic missile tests.

USA officials say the meeting will probe how to boost maritime security around North Korea to intercept ships trying to defy sanctions.

Jeong Seong Jang, a senior researcher at the Sejong Institute in Seoul, said, "For the sake of actual inter-Korean cooperation, the two sides in the working-level talks must discuss the attire, performance content, and other details of the North's art troupe and other groups". North Korea carried out nuclear and missile tests previous year that triggered harsher United Nations sanctions and worldwide condemnation.

Given the high-level officials, athletes, cheerleaders, observers, Taekwondo demonstration team and reporters that North Korea is already planning to include in its Olympics delegation, the agreement about the 140-member band makes it likely the North's delegation to the Pyeongchang Olympics will be larger than ever before.

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.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who advocates dialogue with the North but remains critical of Pyongyang's weapons drive, said last week he was willing to have a summit with Kim "under the right conditions", but added that "certain outcomes must be guaranteed".

Despite Kim Jong Un engaging with South Korea to allow his nation to participate in the Olympics, the KCNA piece went on to threaten a retraction of North Korea's participation, as though that offered some diplomatic leverage over their southern neighbor.

Kim's state-run Korean Central News Agency blasted: "At this time, ill-boding remarks chilling the atmosphere for reconciliation are heard from South Korea, upsetting the people". He said more discussions are expected to work out details of North Korean performances.

"They should know that the train and bus carrying our delegation.are still in Pyongyang", it read.

Also discussed in the meeting were legal issues facing South Korean adoptees in the U.S. Kang said some South Korean adoptees were living with fear of deportation, without having acquired U.S. citizenship because of institutional or family issues.