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North Korea offers talk on art troupe’s visit to Olympics

SEOUL, South Korea --- South Korea said Saturday that North Korea proposed that their talks next week address a North Korean art troupe's visit to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in the South, rather than the participation of the nation's athletes. Pyongyang wants talks on sending its athletes and other officials to the February Olympics to be held at a later date so that next Monday's talks can focus primarily on the North Korean art troupe's participation in the Games, Seoul's Unification Ministry said. Officials from the rival Koreas met earlier this week in the border village of Panmunjom, their first talks in more than two years. At that meeting they agreed to hold mili...Keep on reading: North Korea offers talk on art troupe’s visit to Olympics.....»»

Category: newsSource: inquirer inquirerJan 13th, 2018

Rival Koreas agree to talk on art troupe’s visit to Olympics

SEOUL, South Korea --- The rival Koreas agreed Saturday that their talks next week will address a North Korean art troupe's visit to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in the South, rather than the participation of the nation's athletes. Pyongyang wanted talks on sending its athletes and other officials to the February Olympics to be held at a later date so that Monday's talks can focus primarily on its art troupe's participation in the Games, Seoul's Unification Ministry said. The South agreed to the North's proposal, the ministry said. Officials from the two Koreas met earlier this week in the border village of Panmunjom, their first talks in more than two years. At that meeting they ...Keep on reading: Rival Koreas agree to talk on art troupe’s visit to Olympics.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 14th, 2018

Koreas extend conciliatory steps to Asian Games

By Kim Tong-Hyung, Associated Press SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — With the Koreas, there's no separating their sports from their politics. The war-separated rivals will take their reconciliation steps to the Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia, where they will jointly march in the opening ceremony and field combined teams in basketball, rowing and canoeing. "Sports have played the role of peacemaker between the Koreas," said Kim Seong-jo, vice chairman of South Korea's Olympic committee and the country's chef de mission at the Asian Games. "If the combined teams put out good performances and win medals, that would be putting the cherry on the top." North and South Korea have used sports diplomacy this year in a bid to decrease animosity and initiate a new round of global diplomatic efforts to resolve the nuclear standoff with Pyongyang. South Korea leaders consider goodwill gestures as crucial to keep the positive atmosphere alive for what could become a long and difficult attempt to persuade the North to give up its nuclear and missile programs. There's not much Seoul can do beyond such gestures, though, as joint economic projects are out of the question when lifting sanctions against North Korea is far beyond the South's control. The more substantial discussions on the North's denuclearization — including what, when and how it would occur— are always going to be between Washington and Pyongyang. Here's a look at what the Koreas are planning for the Asian Games and their ebbs and flows in sports diplomacy: ___ BLUE FLAGS AND COMBINED TEAMS In the opening ceremony in Jakarta, athletes from North and South Korea will parade together under the flag featuring a blue map that symbolized a unified Korean Peninsula. It will be virtual repeat of the joint march during February's Winter Olympics in the South Korean ski resort of Pyeongchang, minus the gloves, parkas and fur hats. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent hundreds of athletes, artists and government officials to the Pyeongchang Olympics. The Koreas also fielded their first combined Olympic team in women's ice hockey, which drew passionate support from crowds despite losing all five of its games with a combined score of 28-2. At the Asian Games, the Koreas will be expected to deliver more than just feel-good stories. There's pressure for the investment to yield gold. A group of 34 North Korean athletes, coaches and officials have been in South Korea since last month for combined teams in women's basketball and the men's and women's events in rowing and canoeing. Coach Lee Moon-kyu, who has retained a core of South Korean players who won gold at the 2014 Asian Games at home in Incheon, got a first-hand look at North Korean players during exhibitions in Pyongyang in early July. Lee later picked three North Korean players for the Asian Games squad, including center Ro Suk Yong. Lee will also have a North Korean assistant coach on his bench. The Koreans will face Taiwan, Indonesia, Kazakhstan and India in their preliminary group. South Korean forward Lim Yung-hui said the chemistry between the players has been improving. "The Northern players share the same goal of the gold medal and we talk a lot about how we should be putting out a good performance there," Lim said. "We weren't given much time, but we are practicing hard in a positive atmosphere." The Koreas will field combined teams in dragon boat events in canoeing and the lightweight men's four, lightweight men's eight and lightweight women's double sculls in rowing. If a combined team wins gold, athletes on the podium will hear the traditional folk song of "Arirang,"used in both Koreas as an unofficial anthem for peace, instead of their respective national anthems. The Korean athletes are likely to become an attraction at the Asian Games, where the international media will follow closely. At the Pyeongchang Olympics, South Korean figure skater Kam Alex Kang-chan created a media frenzy by taking a selfie with North Korea's Kim Ju Sik and posting it on Instagram. The photo recalled a famous 2016 selfie taken by two North and South Korean gymnasts at the Rio Olympics which International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach described as a "great gesture." ___ THEY DON'T ALWAYS PLAY NICE The Koreas have a history of using sports to foster diplomacy since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. The 1991 world table tennis championships in Japan were the first time the Koreas fielded a combined team at a major international event. The atmosphere wasn't always friendly, though. During the height of their Cold War rivalry and recurring periods of animosity since, sports often became an alternate political battlefield. North Korean athletes and coaches would reject handshakes with their South Korean competitors and berate South Korean reporters during news conferences. The sports detente of 1991 evaporated when a North Korean athlete who competed at the world judo championships in Barcelona defected and arrived in South Korea amid heavy media coverage. North Korea boycotted the 1986 Asian Games and the '88 Summer Olympics in Seoul, and relations dramatically worsened on the eve of the Seoul Olympics with the bombing of a South Korean passenger jet that killed all 115 aboard in December 1987. The inter-Korean warmth heading into this year's Asian Games contrasts with the awkwardness between the rivals surrounding the 2014 Asiad held in South Korea. Seoul's then-conservative government invited North Korean athletes to compete, but made it clear it had no interest in joint marches or combined teams. North Korean subsequently withdrew an offer to send its all-female cheering squad to Incheon after squabbling with the hosts over costs. North Korean leader Kim did send a senior government delegation to the closing ceremony, but they returned home without meeting then-South Korean President Park Geun-hye. The North was still seething over the Asian Game treatment years later as it gleefully observed Park's presidency crashing over a corruption scandal. "The Park Geun-hye group's mad confrontational racket is to blame for why (the North Korean) visit to Incheon did not result in improved relations," the North said in a statement in April last year. ___ WILL THE GOOD TIMES LAST? Kim has found a willing counterpart in Moon, a liberal who won the presidential by-elections to replace Park last year. Since the Pyeongchang Olympics, Kim has met Moon twice and leveraged the summits to get to U.S. President Donald Trump. After their June summit in Singapore, Kim and Trump issued a vague aspirational goal for a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula without describing specific plans. Sports exchanges and other goodwill gestures are important policy tools for Moon, who wants Seoul to be in the "driver's seat" in international efforts to deal with Pyongyang. The Koreas have also agreed to resume temporary reunions between relatives separated by the war and are holding military talks to reduce tensions across their heavily armed border. "Hopefully, (the Asian Games) will provide an opportunity to use sports to facilitate diplomacy and cooperation," Moon said while meeting Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi in Seoul last month. Seoul's presidential office hasn't announced yet whether Moon would attend the opening ceremony in Jakarta on Aug. 18. Whatever happens in Indonesia or with nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang, the Koreas will always have those heartening selfies posted by athletes. "Sports can be used to build momentum and trust, but they don't solve fundamental problems," said Koh Yu-hwan, a North Korea expert at Seoul's Dongguk University and a policy adviser to Moon. "There's not much South Korea can currently do, but at least it's trying to actively do the things it can to keep the positive atmosphere alive. ".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 10th, 2018

Rival Koreas agree to talk on art troupe s visit to Olympics

SEOUL — The rival Koreas have agreed yesterday that their talks next week will address a North Korean art troupe's visit to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics i.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 13th, 2018

S. Korea offers to talk with North on Olympic cooperation

SEOUL — South Korea on yesterday offered high-level talks with rival North Korea to find ways to cooperate on next month's Winter Olympics in the South......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 3rd, 2018

S. Korea offers to talk with North on Olympic cooperation

HYUNG-JIN KIM, Associated Press SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea on Tuesday offered high-level talks with rival North Korea to find ways to cooperate on next month's Winter Olympics in the South. Seoul's quick proposal following a rare rapprochement overture from the North a day earlier offers the possibility of better ties after a year that saw a nuclear standoff increase fear of war on the Korean Peninsula. In a closely watched New Year's address, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said Monday that he was willing to send a delegation to the Olympics, though he also repeated fiery nuclear threats against the United States. Analysts say Kim may be trying to drive a wedge between Seoul and its ally Washington in a bid to reduce international isolation and sanctions against North Korea. Kim's overture was welcome news for a South Korean government led by liberal President Moon Jae-in, who favors dialogue to ease the North's nuclear threats and wants to use the Olympics as a chance to improve inter-Korean ties. Moon's unification minister, Cho Myoung-gyon, proposed in a nationally televised news conference that the two Koreas meet Jan. 9 at the shared border village of Panmunjom to discuss Olympic cooperation and how to improve overall ties. Earlier Tuesday, Moon spoke of what he described as Kim's positive response to his earlier dialogue overtures and ordered officials to study how to restore talks with North Korea and get the North to participate in the Olympics. North Korea did not immediately react. But if there are talks, they would be the first formal dialogue between the Koreas since December 2015. Relations between the Koreas have plunged as North Korea has expanded its weapons programs amid a hard-line stance by Moon's conservative predecessors. Last year, North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test and test-launched three intercontinental ballistic missiles as part of its push to possess a nuclear missile capable of reaching anywhere in the United States. The North was subsequently hit with toughened U.N. sanctions, and Kim and President Donald Trump exchanged warlike rhetoric and crude personal insults against each other. Kim said in his speech Monday that North Korea last year achieved the historic feat of "completing" its nuclear forces. Outside experts say that it's only a matter of time before the North acquires the ability to hurl nuclear weapons at the mainland U.S., but that the country still has a few technologies to master, such as a warhead's ability to survive atmospheric re-entry. Talks could provide a temporary thaw in strained inter-Korean ties, but conservative critics worry that they may only earn the North time to perfect its nuclear weapons. After the Olympics, inter-Korean ties could become frosty again because the North has made it clear it has no intention of accepting international calls for nuclear disarmament and instead wants to bolster its weapons arsenal in the face of what it considers increasing U.S. threats. "Kim Jong Un's strategy remains the same. He's developing nukes while trying to weaken international pressure and the South Korea-U.S. military alliance and get international sanctions lifted," said Shin Beomchul of the Seoul-based Korea National Diplomatic Academy. He said the North might also be using its potential Olympic participation as a chance to show its nuclear program is not intended to pose a threat to regional peace. In his address Monday, Kim said the United States should be aware that his country's nuclear forces are now a reality, not a threat. He said he has a "nuclear button" on his office desk, warning that "the whole territory of the U.S. is within the range of our nuclear strike." He called for improved ties and a relaxation of military tensions with South Korea, saying the Winter Olympics could showcase the status of the Korean nation. But Kim also repeated that South Korea must stop annual military exercises with the United States, which he calls an invasion rehearsal against the North. About 28,500 American troops are stationed in South Korea to help deter potential aggression from the North, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 2nd, 2018

S. Korea offers to talk with North on Olympics cooperation

S. Korea offers to talk with North on Olympics cooperation.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 2nd, 2018

South Korea’s Moon plans to send envoy to North Korea soon

      SEOUL, South Korea (AP) --- South Korean President Moon Jae-in plans to send a special envoy to North Korea soon to set up more meaningful dialogue between the rivals that Seoul hopes will eventually include discussions over disarming the North of nuclear weapons. Seoul's presidential office said Moon revealed the plans to President Donald Trump in a 30-minute telephone conversation late Thursday. The office did not say how Trump reacted to the plans. North Korean officials visiting the South for the recently concluded Pyeongchang Winter Olympics have said leader Kim Jong Un wants to hold a summit with Moon and that North Korea aims to open talk wi...Keep on reading: South Korea’s Moon plans to send envoy to North Korea soon.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMar 2nd, 2018

North Korea general wraps up controversial visit to South

SEOUL, South Korea – A powerful North Korean general Tuesday, February 27, wrapped up his visit to the South as part of an Olympics charm offensive by Pyongyang that has drawn angry protests calling for his arrest. General Kim Yong Chol, who is in charge of inter-Korean affairs for the ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsFeb 27th, 2018

North Korea says willing to talk to US – Seoul

SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea is "very willing" to hold talks with the United States, its delegation to the Winter Olympics closing ceremony said Sunday, February 25 according to Seoul's presidential Blue House. In a meeting with the South's President Moon Jae-in, the North's delegation "agreed that ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsFeb 25th, 2018

Blacklisted North Korea general arrives in Pyeongchang

SEOUL, South Korea – A blacklisted North Korean general arrived in the South on Sunday, February 25 for the Winter Olympics closing ceremony, which will also be attended by United States President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka. The visit by Kim Yong Chol , who led an eight-member high-level delegation that crossed ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsFeb 25th, 2018

Relatives protest visit by N. Korea general blamed for warship sinking

SEOUL, South Korea – Angry relatives of sailors killed in the 2010 sinking of a South Korean warship protested on Saturday, February 24, against the impending visit to the Winter Olympics of a North Korean general blamed for the attack. Relatives of the 46 killed on the Cheonan corvette urged Seoul ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsFeb 24th, 2018

South Korean MPs demand execution of North s Olympic delegate

SEOUL, South Korea – South Korean lawmakers protested on Friday, February 23, over a visit by a top North Korean general for the Pyeongchang Olympics, labelling him a war criminal over the 2010 sinking of a warship and calling for his execution. Kim Yong Chol will head an eight-member delegation to ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsFeb 23rd, 2018

North Korea’s closing Olympics delegation includes man blamed for deadly ship sinking

SEOUL — North Korea will send another high-level delegation to South Korea for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics closing ceremony, officials said on Thursday, including the man blamed for the 2010 sinking of a South Korean navy ship that killed 46 sailors. The latest visit by officials from the normally reclusive North will coincide with a […] The post North Korea’s closing Olympics delegation includes man blamed for deadly ship sinking appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsFeb 22nd, 2018

US: Pence ready to talk to NKorea, but they canceled meeting

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration says Vice President Mike Pence was ready to meet with representatives from North Korea during his visit to the Olympic.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsFeb 21st, 2018

Two Koreas, Kim’s sister star at freezing Olympic opener

PYEONGCHANG: The Pyeongchang Winter Olympics open on Friday with North and South Korea marching together at a bitterly cold ceremony attended by the first member of North Korea’s ruling family to visit the South since the Korean War. Kim Yo Jong, the influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, is among a 500-strong [...] The post Two Koreas, Kim’s sister star at freezing Olympic opener appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsFeb 9th, 2018

North Korea holds military parade on eve of Games

SEOUL: North Korea staged a military parade in Pyongyang on Thursday, in a show of strength just a day before the Winter Olympics open in the South. The nuclear-armed North is on an Olympics-linked charm offensive—sending a troupe of performers, hundreds of female cheerleaders, and the sister of leader Kim Jong Un to South Korea. [...] The post North Korea holds military parade on eve of Games appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsFeb 8th, 2018

North Korean art troupe heads for Olympics

GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA — Around 120 North Korean art performers in matching red coats and fur hats left for the South, its state media said Tuesday, the latest in the flurry of cross-border exchanges in the run-up to the PyeongChang Olympics. The troupe were seen off from a train station in the North Korean capital […] The post North Korean art troupe heads for Olympics appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsFeb 6th, 2018

North, South Korea share the ice in figure skating

GANGEUNG, South Korea --- North and South Korean figure skaters shared the same ice Monday for the first time at the Pyeongchang Olympics. The North's pair of Ryom Tae Ok and Kim Ju Sik didn't socialize much with the South Korean and Japanese athletes in their practice session, but South Korean skater Alex Kam said they'd shared a few words. "We didn't have much time to talk because our warmup schedule was different, but we just said 'Hi'," Kam said. "We were just talking about our schedule for this weekend." Fresh off a third-place finish at the Four Continents championship in Taiwan last month, Ryom and Kim are the only North Koreans who met the Olympic qualifying standards in the...Keep on reading: North, South Korea share the ice in figure skating.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsFeb 5th, 2018

North Korea s ceremonial head of state to visit South

SEOUL, South Korea (UPDATED) – North Korea's ceremonial head of state will visit the South this week in connection with the Winter Olympics, Seoul said late Sunday, February 4. Kim Yong-Nam will be the highest-level official from the North for years to travel to the other ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsFeb 5th, 2018

Twist of fate: Michael Martinez makes it to the 2018 Winter Olympic

Visit us on Instagram To be You; Facebook: To be You; e-mail inq.tobeyou@gmail.com Talk about a twist of fate---21-year-old Filipino figure skater Michael Martinez confirmed that he will represent the country in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, next month. The Pinoy Ice Prince was shortlisted to compete in the event, but failed to earn enough points in the Nebelhorn Trophy, a qualifying tournament held in Obertsdorf, Germany, in September 2017. When the Swedish Olympic Committee decided not to send skater Alexander Majorov, his slot was offered to Martinez. "According to point F of the Qualification System for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, the Philippin...Keep on reading: Twist of fate: Michael Martinez makes it to the 2018 Winter Olympic.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 27th, 2018