N. Korean Sports Minister Arrives in China on Way to Geneva


North Korea has agreed to send a 140-member orchestra to the Winter Olympic Games in South Korea next month.

A banner showing the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic official mascots is displayed at the Imjingak Pavilion in Paju near the border with North Korea and South Korea on Sunday. But the backlash may trip up Seoul's plans to use the sporting event to improve bilateral ties after a year of high tensions over Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programmes.

"We believe that a great symphony will be enthusiastically received", Kwon Hyok-bong, North Korea's chief delegate, was quoted as saying before the meeting.

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The group is largely made up of women musicians and most of its members play string instruments.

Many of their song lyrics speak of praise for the country's leadership - past and present. The North remained silent on the offer until Kim Jong-un said in his New Year's speech it could participate, a move seen as aimed at easing military tension with the US.

Participation by the regime's Moranbong Band stills "needs confirmation", according to the South Korean Ministry of Unification. Given Moranbong Band leader Hyun Song-wol's attendance at the working-level meeting, some analysts expect that she will lead the band on its trip to South Korea.

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Korea Painting competition are going to visit PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games at South Korea in February. Knowing Moon's desire, the North could try to demand that South Korea cancel joint military drills with the U.S.in exchange for Pyongyang's participation in the Olympics, said Hong Kwan-hee, a professor at Korea University in Seoul. Prior to this, North Korea sent its largest delegation to the South for the Asian Games that were held in Busan in the summer of 2002. Since the sanctions were approved, North Korea has indeed began making moves toward diplomacy with South Korea, seeming to suggest that Kim may be starting to feel the pressure brought about through the effort.

Hosts South Korea have also proposed that the two rivals form a joint women's ice hockey team and march together at the parade of nations at the opening ceremony. "And the South Korean team's first tournament in the Olympics is only three weeks away", the official said. "The United States is the ringleader threatening the peace of the Korean Peninsula and obstructing the unification of Koreans", it said.

The 1st victor Lakshmi.M.Vikash who will be experiencing PyeongChang winter Olympics games expressed her gratitude and said that Korea is her dream destination.

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The Secretary General's visit includes a meeting with President Juan Manuel Santos, as well as former senior commander of FARC, Rodrigo Londoño - best known by his wartime alias "Timochenko".

The talks come after tensions between Washington and Pyongyang continued to escalate throughout the a year ago over North Korea's repeated weapons tests as well as bellicose threats of sparking a conflict.