The Moranbong Troupe, North Korea's Entertainers

The Moranbong Troupe, North Korea's Entertainers

North and South Korea began talks on Monday to discuss appearances by performers from Pyongyang's state-run artistic troupes at next month's Winter Olympics in the South, after the North agreed to attend the games.

On Sunday, the participants will take a tour of South Korea's frontline areas in Paju near the demilitarized zone that separates the two Koreas, and the venues for the PyeongChang Olympics.

North Korea is planning to send a large delegation to the Olympics in addition to the athletes and orchestra.

The KCNA also accused South Korea of letting the United States send another nuclear aircraft carrier, Stennis, to the West Pacific during the Peyongchang Olympics, despite its agreement with Washington to postpone joint military drills during the games.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach, left, is escorted by South Korea's Prime Minister and acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn for a meeting in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, March 14, 2017.

Who would have thought that the 2018 South Korea Olympics would feature a team from North Korea and not have a Russian team competing? He said more discussions are expected to work out details of North Korean performances.

North Korea's use of recruitment materials in 2017 supports previous speculation that the country must have been preparing its cheer squad - and, by default, its Olympic delegation - for months.

U.S. can not undermine Iran nuclear deal: Rouhani
Lavrov said the Iranians can't be held to their obligations if you're not going to do the same with the North Koreans. Terms have already been agreed to, so he can not unilaterally change them.

The two nations also agreed on Monday to hold talks at Panmunjom on Wednesday on logistics and details for the visit by the North's athletes.

"In that sense, we hope that the talks could go smoothly so as to help our art troupe perform well in the South", he said.

The North's delegates at Monday's meeting included Hyon Song-Wol, the leader of Pyongyang's famed all-female Moranbong music band, raising expectations the band would perform in the South. One expert says the North's latest proposal has two purposes.

Even so, debate within the US administration over whether to give more active consideration to military options, such as a pre-emptive strike on a North Korean nuclear or missile site, has lost momentum ahead of the Olympics, the officials said. If realized, it would be the Koreas' first unified Olympic team ever.

"We believe that a great symphony will be enthusiastically received", Kwon Hyok-bong, North Korea's chief delegate, was quoted as saying before the meeting.

Although the talks will see participation from all of the nations that supported South Korea in the Korean War with the addition of Japan, the conspicuous absence of both China, North Korea's primary ally, and Russian Federation, who have offered Kim's regime tacit support throughout the heightening tensions, has expanded the diplomatic gap between the USA -led coalition and neighboring military powers in the Pacific.

A spokesman for Seoul's unification ministry played down the editorial, attributing it to "internal reasons and circumstances".

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