North Korea to send another Olympic prep team to South Korea


SEOUL, South Korea, Jan. 21 (UPI) — North Korea plans to send another Olympic prep team to the South this week to make arrangements for hundreds of North Korean athletes, cheerleaders and reporters attending the Pyeongchang Winter Games next month.

Seoul’s Unification Ministry said Sunday that the North proposed a three-day visit of an eight-member advance team led by senior sports official Yun Yong-bok.

Arriving on Thursday, the team would examine various venues including accommodation sites, the opening and closing ceremony stadium as well the sporting arenas, according to the plan.

Seoul said it would review the proposal before responding to the North.

This comes after North Korean officials tasked with arranging cultural concerts traveled to the South on Sunday, marking the first such visit to take place after the Moon Administration took office last May.

The seven-member group led by girl band singer and head of Samijyon Orchestra Hyon Song-wol crossed the border to the South through the overland Gyeongui route at around 9a.m. local time.

Surrounded by hundreds of police officers and members of the press, the team caught a bullet train at Seoul Station headed to the northeastern city of Gangneung where some of the Olympic Games will be held.

During their two-day stay, the prep team will inspect concert venues and facilities as well as discussing dates and programs for the performance.

The two Koreas agreed last week that a 140-member cultural troupe from the North would accompany the Olympic athletes to the Games and stage concerts in Gangneung and Seoul.

Meanwhile, South Korea plans to send its own delegation to the North to prepare joint training sessions for skiers and an inter-Korean cultural event in the Mount Kumgang area.

Pyongyang approved the three-day visit slated to begin on Tuesday, the Unification Ministry said.


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