Two Koreas hold working-level talks over North’s participation at PyeongChang Winter Olympics

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남북 예술단 실무접촉
Our top story this morning…
South and North Korea are meeting again at the truce village of Panmunjeom.
North Korea wants to send musicians and art performers to next month’s PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games in the South.
For more details,… let’s connect on the phone to Ji Myung-kil at Seoul’s Unification Ministry.
Myung-kil, we hear these talks have just started,… fill us in.

Hello Mark.
As you say, the two sides have started their working-level talks at Tongil-gak… located at the northern side of Panmunjeom.
The delegations composed of culture ministry officials, orchestra conductors and band leaders will focus their talks on sending a North Korean art troupe to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
The North’s four-member delegation is composed of a chief delegate, who is a director of North Korea’s performing arts bureau at their culture ministry, including the leader of an all-female band called Moranbong.
It’s likely that North Korea wants to send the Moranbong band to perform during the Games.
This all-female band was established in 2012 by the North’s leader Kim Jong-un… featuring Western-style music and outfits.
On the sidelines there could also be talks about doing joint performances during the opening and closing ceremony of the Winter Games.

Now apart from sending an art troupe from North Korea… sending North Korean athletes to PyeongChang is an urgent matter as well… when will those talks take place?

You’re right Mark.
North Korea actually suggested over the weekend that they first hold talks on sending art performers to the Games.
The North has to finalize on how many North Korean athletes they will be sending and what route to take to arrive in PyeongChang.
The North will also be sending a cheering squad, observers, supporters, journalists and a Taekwondo demonstration team… so there are still a lot of practical issues that need to be discussed.
The International Olympic Committee will hold a meeting this Saturday — January 20th — with delegations from North and South Korea to finalize the participation of North Korean athletes so we presume more working-level talks will be scheduled before the big IOC meeting.
Mark.

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