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Important news
在线翻译:
szdaily -> Important news
KIM YONG NAM TO LEAD DELEGATION TO SOUTH KOREA FOR OLYMPICS
    2018-February-6  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

THE Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) confirmed yesterday that it will send a delegation led by its head of state to South Korea for the upcoming Winter Olympics amid what has been a joint effort by the two Koreas to exhibit reconciliation during the sports event.

“A high-level delegation of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea led by Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People’s Assembly, will soon visit South Korea to attend the opening ceremony of the 23rd Winter Olympics,” the DPRK’s official Korean Central News Agency said.

South Korea’s Unification Ministry said Sunday it was notified by the DPRK of the plan through a recently restored hotline at the truce village of Panmunjom on the border separating the two nations.

In its notification to Seoul, Pyongyang said the delegation would comprise of three other officials and 18 supporting staff but stopped short of elaborating on who the three officials were, according to the South’s Unification Ministry.

The ministry didn’t explicitly say whether 90-year-old Kim, the highest-ranking official to visit South Korea in years, will attend the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in PyeongChang during his three-day trip starting Friday.

Baik Tae-hyun, South Korea’s unification ministry spokesman, told a press briefing yesterday that his government hailed the visit by the DPRK’s high-ranking delegation to South Korea, saying it will provide necessary accommodations and guarantee security during their stay.

Baik said the South Korean Government will prepare to let the DPRK delegation attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics as well as other competitions and events, while preparing to make it possible for high-ranking officials from the two Koreas to hold talks.

The spokesman expressed South Korea’s anticipation that the DPRK delegation’s visit to South Korea can make the PyeongChang Winter Olympics a successful “peace Olympics,” restoring inter-Korean relations and establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Meanwhile, the DPRK’s art troupe planned to visit South Korea by sea for performances during the Winter Olympics period, Baik said.

Since his swearing-in in May 2017, South Korean President Moon Jae-in has been vocal in de-escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula, which have seen successive ballistic missiles and nuclear tests by Pyongyang in 2017, followed by three sanctions imposed on the DPRK by the United Nations Security Council.

The PyeongChang Winter Games is considered by Moon to be an opportunity to mend relations with Pyongyang. When the DPRK’s top leader Kim Jong Un extended a rare olive branch to his southern neighbor in his New Year’s Day speech, the two sides finally sit down face-to-face at Panmomjom in January for direct talks.

The negotiations resulted in a consensus on athletes of the two Koreas marching under a unified flag at the opening ceremony of the Games. They also agreed to form one team for the women’s ice hockey, among others.

However, Pyongyang recently canceled a previously planned joint cultural performance with Seoul, accusing South Korean media of conducting reports “defaming” the DPRK leadership.

(Xinhua)

The DPRK’s official daily Rodong Sinmun continued to criticize conservative remarks by the South, saying in a commentary piece published Saturday that “no one has the right to make irresponsible comments” on Pyongyang’s decision to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People’s Army by holding a military parade Thursday, one day before the Olympics unveil in PyeongChang.

According to South Korea’s presidential office, Moon told U.S. President Donald Trump in a 30-minute phone conversation Friday that he hoped that U.S. Vice President Mike Pence’s visit in South Korea during the Olympics would become a turning point for promoting inter-Korean dialogues, which he expected would last beyond the event.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said Monday that Moon “is known to be hoping” that the United States and the DPRK would holdtalks as senior officials from both sides arrive in PyeongChang.

Whether Pence and Kim Yong Nam will meet each other at the opening ceremony remains an open question.

(Xinhua)

(Zhang Qian)

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