Published: Sat, January 20, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

N.Korea cancels S.Korea visit by advance team for art troupe

N.Korea cancels S.Korea visit by advance team for art troupe

While it's generally recognised that inter-Korean contacts are important, the crisis can ultimately only be resolved by US-North Korean talks, with backing and input from South Korea, China, Russia and Japan.

The South Korean delegation is scheduled to arrive on a two-day tour to inspect Masikryong Ski Resort next Tuesday before their Olympic skiers are sent to practice there.

The memo was from the North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea's vice chairman. Furthermore, an official at Seoul's unification ministry reiterated that "the idea is part of Seoul's vision to make the upcoming event the Peace Olympics".

North Korea has cancelled a visit by a delegation to South Korea to prepare for a trip by an art troupe during next month's Winter Olympics, Seoul's Unification Ministry was quoted as saying by South Korea's Yonhap news agency on Friday (Jan 19).

Denuclearization, the sticking point that has kept the USA and South Korea from seriously negotiating with Pyongyang, was brought up in the original talks, but North Korea expressed disdain at the mention.

The Olympics are due to kick off on February 9 with a grand ceremony in Seoul. North Korea missed an October 31 deadline to accept invitations from South Korea and the International Olympic Committee to join the games. Despite South Korea technically being the enemy, North Korean participants may try to impart upon them "the teachings of the revered" Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Un. And no one will defend North Korea then.

Talks that have been led by the two Korean governments will now shift temporarily to Lausanne with the IOC.

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So far, the plan is for the two teams to march together in the opening ceremonies-under a white flag with a blue map of the entire Korean peninsula.

The sanctions complicate the South's ability to provide cash payments to the North for accommodation expenses and other costs implied in joint training exercises.

"North Korea was all about firing missiles past year, but suddenly they want to come to the South for the Olympics?"

Questions remain on whether a North Korean delegation to the Olympics or the South Korean delegation to the Mt. Kumgang ski resort would violate worldwide sanctions. "It's happening... In Vancouver, the former allies of South Korea are tightening the noose, increasing the rhetoric, raising the temperature", Shoebridge told RT after the US-led group chose to consider unilateral sanctions against Pyongyang Tuesday.

"The reckless US-led joint military drills with South Korea to be conducted in South Korea anytime serve as a prelude to the aggressive war bringing a nuclear disaster to the Korean Peninsula", North Korea's Minju Joson newspaper said in a commentary Thursday. With increasing aggression from North Korea in recent months, the development is a little concerning for some.

Speaking earlier in the week, former US Secretary of State Ash Carter told CNN he wouldn't be surprised if North Korea held a parade ahead of the games.

"Every single time we go race in Korea it is always something special for us because when we go there we are one of the best athletes in the world and even if we are not Korean people are loving us, cheering for us".

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