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Koreas discuss art troupe's Olympics visit

Koreas discuss art troupe's Olympics visit

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North and South Korean officials are meeting to work out details about Pyongyang's plan to send an art troupe to the South during next month's Winter Olympics.

In a development that still shows their bitter animosities, the North issued a veiled threat on Sunday indicating it could cancel its plans to send an Olympic delegation to protest what it called South Korea's "sordid acts of chilling" the prospect for inter-Korean reconciliation.

The KCNA criticised South Korean President Moon Jae-in for crediting US President Donald Trump for getting the North to sit down with the South.
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Monday's talks at the border village of Panmunjom will likely focus on the makeup of an art troupe and when and where in South Korea they would perform, according to South Korean officials.

Drawing keen attention is whether the North would send its famous Moranbong Band, an all-female ensemble hand-picked by the North's leader Kim Jong Un. One of the North Korean delegates to the talks is Hyon Song Wol, the head of the Moranbong Band, according to Seoul's Unification Ministry.

The band is one of the ways Kim had tried to project an image of youth and modernity since becoming leader in 2011, though expectations he might be different from his dictator father have faded after he executed top officials including his own uncle in an apparent effort to bolster his grip on power.
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"It's certain the Moranbong Band would come given Hyon Song Wol was among the North Korean delegates," said analyst Cheong Seong-Chang at South Korea's private Sejong Institute. "But if they come dressed in military uniforms, that could cause strong resistance. If they put praise of Kim Jong Un or a missile launch scene in the background on stage, that could trigger bigger controversy."

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