North Korean delegation arrives in South Korea for Olympics prep
SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korean logistics officials arrived in South Korea on Sunday after a previous cancellation briefly cast doubts on the North’s participation in next month’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
South Korean broadcaster YTN reported the delegation had arrived in Seoul early Sunday under a heavy police presence, then boarded a train to Gangwon province, where the Olympics will be held from February 9-25.
The officials are scheduled to spend two days inspecting art centres in Gangneung city, which will also host several of the Olympic events.
In a diplomatic breakthrough after a year of escalating tension over the North’s nuclear and missile programme, the North will send 22 athletes to the Winter Games and compete in three sports and five disciplines, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Saturday.
The seven-member North Korean delegation, led by musician Hyon Song-wol, had been scheduled to visit on Saturday to check venues for performances by a 140-strong art troupe at the Olympics, but cancelled just before the visit with no explanation.
Officials from both Korea’s used a cross-border hotline to reschedule the visit.
The visit to the South marks the first by North Koreans since South Korean President Moon Jae-in took office in May last year and sought to re-engage with the North.
Writing by Josh Smith; Editing by Michael Perry