South Korea asks North to explain canceled visit


"South Korea, they're a great ally, they're in a bad spot".

In the days after Kim's New Year speech the two Koreas underwent a rapid apparent rapprochement, culminating last week in their first official talks for two years, when they agreed Pyongyang would attend the Games.

Meanwhile, North Korea called the United Nations' (UN) Secretary General's remarks this week on its nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches "biased" for not taking the United States to task on its own nuclear program, and attacked the United States and other nations for calling North Korea's nuclear program "violations of resolutions".

He noted that the Korean delegates with march under the Korean Unification Flag during the opening ceremony, in what he suggested would be a "very emotional moment not only for all Koreans but also for the entire world".

The Olympics will take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea, about 50 miles from the demilitarized zone between the North and South.

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At the opening ceremony, the joint delegation "will be led into the Olympic stadium by the Korean unification flag" carried together by athlete from each country, the IOC said.

North Korea rescinded its decision to send a team of inspectors to South Korea over the weekend to check local facilities for two orchestra concerts next month, South Korean media reported.

The North Korean delegation will include 24 coaches and officials at the February 9-25 Winter Games.

North Korea also hasn't responded to the South Korean proposal to send a 12-member delegation to the North on Tuesday to inspect preparations for a joint cultural event at the North's scenic Diamond Mountain and a training session between non-Olympic skiers at the North's Masik ski resort ahead of the Olympics.

Despite the logistical challenges posed by North Korea's eleventh-hour agreement to compete in Pyeongchang, the International Olympic Committee is expected to give the proposal a sympathetic hearing when it meets officials from both countries in Lausanne on Saturday.

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"I think what Kim Jong Un is going to see out of this is, 'How bad could I be?' I'm going to the biggest party in the world-how bad could I be?'" Graham said.

North Korea will also be represented in skating and skiing.

For instance, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono warned that the world should avoid being blinded by what he described as a North Korean "charm offensive".

There are still worries in that adding new players less than a month before would eventually weaken the team power and deprive South Korean players of due playing time.

The final list of Russian athletes invited to take part in South Korea will not be published until after a delegation registration meeting in Pyeongchang on January 27.

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