North Korea has proposed new meetings on cultural issues with Seoul, South Korea’s unification ministry announced on Saturday, in talks which will focus on the sending by the DPRK of an artistic delegation to February’s PyeongChang Olympics.
In a fax to South Korean Minister of Unification Cho Myoung-gyon from North Korea’s chief delegate Ri Son Gwon on Saturday, Pyongyang proposed that the talks, to take place on Monday, be conducted on the northern side of Panmunjom.
“The North proposed to hold working-level contacts at the North side of Panmunjom, Tongilgak on January 15, to discuss the dispatch of North Korea’s performing squad,” a statement from the Ministry of Unification (MOU) reads.
The North Korean delegation will be made up of Kwon Hyok Bong, Director of the Performing Art Bureau at the DPRK Ministry of Culture, and Hyon Song Wol, Yun Bom Ju, and Kim Sun Ho – all with the country’s national orchestra.
Kwon Hyok Bong has also served as an advisor to the Korean Traditional Music Institute, and in 2012 accompanied the Unhasu Orchestra of the DPRK on a visit to France in a cultural exchange between the two countries.
The announcement comes a day after South Korea proposed high-level talks with the North, to take place on Monday.
Friday also saw South Korea’s Vice Sports Minister Roh Tae-kang tell media that Seoul has proposed assembling a joint women’s ice hockey team for the upcoming games.
The two Koreas may also perform side-by-side in the two-man bobsleigh competition.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is reportedly “considering” the proposal, ahead of talks in Lausanne, Switzerland at the end of the month between the two Koreas and the PyeongChang Olympics organizing committee.
Next week’s talks will focus on the DPRK’s participation in upcoming the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games, with the South Korean delegation to be led by Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung.
Last Tuesday saw the two Koreas agree to conduct further dialogue on the DPRK’s participation in the upcoming games, as well as on military and diplomatic issues.
The two Koreas said they agreed that Pyongyang will send a “high-level delegation, representatives of National Olympic Committee, athletes, cheering and performing art squads, a taekwondo demonstration team, and reporters” to the upcoming games.
The talks, which represented the first high-level meetings between two Koreas since December 2015, also saw North Kore restore a military hotline on the western coast of the peninsula.
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Featured Image: North Korea — Pyongyang, Arirang (Mass Games) by (stephan) on 2007-08-01 20:34:04