Seoul wants Olympic momentum to lead to US-North Korea talks

Seoul demands N. Korea explain cancelled arts delegation visit

North Korean women will - upon expected approval by the IOC - play alongside their South Korean counterparts in ice hockey on what would be the first unified Korean team at an worldwide sporting event since 1991.

But Pyongyang told Seoul it had suspended the plan to send a seven-member advance team to inspect venues for proposed art performances in Seoul and the eastern city of Gangneung in connection with the Pyeongchang Games, Yonhap reported, citing the South's Unification Ministry.

"What China is helping us with, Russian Federation is denting", he said.

The Olympic torch has embarked on a weeklong journey along the Demilitarized Zone dividing North and South Korea - one of the most unsafe borders in the world - with hope that both sides will rise above their differences to make greater peace a reality.

Could North and South Korea finally join forces - on the ice hockey rink?

This December 1, 2017 picture released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on December 2, 2017 shows North Korean soldiers and Pyongyang residents holding a rally to celebrate the North's declaration on November 29 it had achieved full nuclear statehood.

Addressing these concerns, President Moon Jae-in, in his New Year's media conference, reassured the South will continue to consult the United States on matters concerning the Korean peninsula, even crediting U.S. President Donald Trump with enabling dialogue with Pyongyang.

Majority were South Koreans left stranded after the 1950-1953 Korean War, but hundreds of others from around the world - including women from Lebanon, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Romania and France - were taken or disappeared while visiting the country between the 1960s and 1980s, the report said. On Wednesday, South Korean officials said the North's delegation would include at least 550 people. "South Korea lacks leverage to interest the North in talks on denuclearization", said Park Hwee-rhak, a political science professor at Kookmin University. "In other words, Russian Federation is making up for some of what China is doing".

The third session of inter-Korean talks in a week strengthened ties between the two Koreas.

Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov said he did not rule out the possibility that a North Korean delegation could visit Moscow ahead of next month's Games. "I'm not sure that talks will lead to anything meaningful".

North Korea's unexpected participation, negotiated in talks at the heavily fortified border between the two nations since the start of the year, has been hailed as a diplomatic breakthrough that could herald peace on the Korean peninsula. So far the United States has refused to give the Sino-Russian approach a try.



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