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North Korean orchestra to perform in South Korea

17 January 2018

North Korea and its southern neighbour agreed during rare talks on Monday that Pyongyang will send a large orchestra to South Korea to perform at the Winter Olympics next month, according to the Unification Ministry in?Seoul.

According to South Korea's Unification Ministry on Monday, the orchestra was formed in the late 2000s to perform for important guests visiting the North.

Monday's meeting at the village of Panmunjom followed high-level talks last week, in which South Korea agreed to lift sanctions temporarily to allow North Korean athletes to join the Winter Games.

Even though there is no such previous case at the Olympics, Sports Minister Do said there have been cases where the two Koreas marched together under the Korean Unification flag during worldwide sporting events hosted by South Korea. KCNA also accused South Korea of letting the United States deploy aircraft carriers and other strategic assets near the Korean Peninsula on the occasion of the Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee plans to separately meet North and South Korean officials this weekend to discuss the North's Olympic participation. 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. "Frankly, I do not know what they meant by to "get prepared" since we do not have any channels to talk to the North Korean team", the official said.

North Korean cheerleaders, known as an "army of beauties", are as famous as the Moranbong Band.

"In a commentary published Tuesday, the North's propaganda outlet Uriminjokkiri pointed the finger at Seoul's joint military drills with the a source of military tension, demanding they be completely ceased" if the South genuinely wishes to improve inter-Korean relations.

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Western European security sources told Reuters last month that Russian tankers had supplied fuel to North Korea on at least three occasions in recent months by transferring cargoes at sea.

Joining Kwon in the North Korean delegation at the talks was Hyon Song Wol, the leader of the Moranbong Band, an all-female band formed in 2012 under Kim Jong Un's direction.

"The South Korean authorities may find the wedding ceremony turning into a mourning ceremony if they fail to hold tight control of media and of their own tongue".

"North Korea seems to be trying to show that it is a normal state respecting peace through the art troupe's trip via Panmunjom".

The statement said that Pakistan has always encouraged the DPRK and RoK to resume meaningful negotiations and supported all efforts for smooth reunification of the Korean Peninsula including the two Summits between North and South Korea in June 2000 and 2007.

The Samjiyon Band is a long-respected nationalist orchestra that forms part of the Mansudae Art Troupe, a longstanding opera and music group that was founded in 1969.

North Korean orchestra to perform in South Korea