South Korea and North Korea to Hold Talks Monday

The International Olympic Committee plans to separately meet North and South Korean officials this weekend to discuss the North's Olympic participation.

The South Korean government, led by liberal President Moon Jae-in, wants to use the Olympics as a chance to improve its long-strained ties with North Korea and help ease the nuclear standoff.

In the first formal talks between the two nations in more than two years last Tuesday, North Korea agreed to send a delegation, including athletes, cheerleaders and an art troupe, as well as high-ranking government officials, to the Olympics.

The concerts, if they go ahead, would mark the first time that a North Korean artistic troupe has performed in the capitalist South since 2002, during a previous rare period of rapprochement.

North Korea will also send a 140-member orchestra to the South during next month's games, according to the unification ministry in Seoul. The others are Won Gil-woo, vice minister of North Korea's sports ministry, and Kim Kang-kuk, whose title has yet to be verified.

Yu, a Korean-American student in Seoul, emphasized the general lack of salience placed on the North Korean nuclear threat by South Korean civilians.

The negotiations between the two nations marked a significant breakthrough in their strained relations, which drastically escalated after recent missile tests conducted by North Korea.

The IOC earlier said its meeting "will have to take a series of essential decisions", including the size of the North Korean athletic delegation, the format of North Korea's participation and issues related to the official protocol, such as flag, anthem and uniform.

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"The South will ensure the safety and convenience of the North's performing squad to the utmost extent", it said, without elaborating on the dates for the concerts.

Trump has also traded personal insults with his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-Un, rattling regional allies.

The Key Resolve and Foal Eagle war games involve some 17,000 USA troops and 300,000 South Koreans personnel training to deter threats from North Korea through land, sea and air military drills and computer simulation.

"The South Korean chief executive should not be dreaming", the state-run KCNA news agency said in an editorial, accusing Mr Moon of "brown-nosing" the United States.

If the Trump administration puts enough pressure on North Korea, the Kim family might agree it has no choice but to disarm, Chang said.

They said: "The two Koreas have marched at nine games so far, and the world gave its blessing to the two Koreas".

But South Korea and Washington's regular joint military drills have also been criticised by some as adding to regional tensions, particularly by Beijing and Moscow who have both called for them to be suspended.

But there are criticisms, particularly from conservative political parties, that such precedent should not be applied to the PyeongChang Olympics, which South Korea earned the right to host in 2011 after two unsuccessful bids.

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