South Korea refuses to send back 12 North Korean defectors

South Korea refuses to send back 12 North Korean defectors

140 member band will be performing in Gangneung and SeoulNorth Korea has agreed to send the Samjiyon Band, an orchestra with more than 140 members, to South Korea to perform in Seoul and in Gangneung, a city in Gangwon Province, during the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

Two members of the unified Korean table tennis team that won the 1991 World Table Tennis Championships in China, North Korean Ri Bun-hui and South Korean Hyun Jung-hwa (right) pose for a photo following the team's victory.

North Korea is weak in winter sports, and two of its figure skaters, Ryom Tae Ok and Kim Ju Sik, earlier became the only North Korean athletes to qualify for the games before the North missed a confirmation deadline.

While it was not immediately clear what "great symphony" referred to, Kwon was joined in the talks by Hyon Song-wol - the leader of the North's famous all-female Moranbong Band, which was established by the reclusive state's leader Kim Jong-un. Both the South and North will attend a meeting on Saturday with International Olympic Committee officials in Switzerland, where the IOC's headquarters are located.

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

A North Korean diplomat in Geneva said: "The IOC will have no say on the art team". It also called Moon's government "a group of pro-U.S. traitors who are only keen on currying favor with their master and keeping their power even at the sacrifice of the Winter Olympics".

The North issued a statement Sunday saying it could still cancel its plans for the Olympics in protest of recent comments by South Korean President Moon Jae-in crediting U.S. President Donald Trump with getting the North to talk with the South.

"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". Murray mused on just how much help, if any, North Korean players can give her current team if the government's wish comes true. Critics question how long the warmer mood can last without any serious discussion on the North's nuclear disarmament.

Despite Kim Jong Un engaging with South Korea to allow his nation to participate in the Olympics, the KCNA piece went on to threaten a retraction of North Korea's participation, as though that offered some diplomatic leverage over their southern neighbor.

The proposed talks on Wednesday follow the decision during the second round of inter-Korean talks January 15 to send a 140-member orchestra from North Korea to the Games in South Korea. A website of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, which serves as North Korea's contact organization to South Korea, issued its opinion on Monday.

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