North Korea says to send delegation to prep for Olympics on Sunday: South Korea ministry

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Flags of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Republic of Korea (ROK), the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), and the PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee (POCOG) are seeing at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Pierre Albouy
Flags of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Republic of Korea (ROK), the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), and the PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee (POCOG) are seeing at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Pierre Albouy

Thomson Reuters

By Joyce Lee

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea will send a delegation to South Korea on Sunday to prepare for a trip by an art troupe during next month's Winter Olympics, pushing the visit back a day after earlier cancelling it, South Korea's Unification Ministry said.

The North's participation in next month's Winter Olympics in South Korea's Pyeongchang has been interpreted as an apparent diplomatic breakthrough after months of high tension over the North's nuclear and missile program.

North Korea sent a statement on Saturday saying it would send the delegation by a land route on Sunday, and the schedule during the visit could be carried out as previously agreed, the Unification Ministry said in a statement.

The South Korean government will review North Korea's suggestion and respond, it added.

A seven-member North Korean team had been scheduled to visit on Saturday to check venues for the performances, the Ministry previously said. Late on Friday North Korea canceled the visit, originally scheduled for Saturday.

At the Games, the two Koreas will field a combined women's ice hockey team and march together under one flag, Seoul said earlier this week after a new round of talks amid a thaw in cross-border ties.

Meanwhile, North Korea accused the United Nations (UN) Secretary General of bias over its nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches for not also taking the United States to task on its own nuclear program, and criticized the United States and other nations for calling North Korea's nuclear program "violations of resolutions".

Pyongyang said the remarks it took issue with were in the vein of "the U.S. desperately trying to reverse the trend of detente and improvement of inter-Korean relations," seemingly referring to the breakthrough surrounding the Winter Olympics, according to a statement from the Permanent Mission of the DPRK to the UN.


(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Additional reporting by Haejin Choi; Editing by Michael Perry and John Stonestreet)

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