Korean delegation tours concert halls in Seoul


In his speech after Saturday's meeting, IOC President Bach credited the day as a "milestone on a long journey", as the IOC has been addressing the special situation of having the Olympic Winter Games 2018 on the Korean peninsula.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach (C) with North and South Korean representatives at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, January 20, 2018. Under the terms, 12 North Koreans will be added to the 23-strong South Korean squad, with 22 of them - the same size as other countries' teams - chosen to take part in each game, including at least three North Koreans.

Regarding the controversy surrounding the formation of a South-North women's ice hockey team, Hankyoreh said "the attitude of opposition politicians and conservative media outlets have gone too far" and that "South Koreans must warmly greet the female ice hockey players".

The two Koreas have agreed to march together under a unification flag - a pale blue silhouette of the Korean peninsula - at the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics on February 9, and to form a unified women's ice hockey team. In Seoul, protesters Monday set fire to the North Korean flag and a photo of Kim Jong Un. Reporters were invited to the scene. A survey showed a majority of South Korean oppose the joint hockey team, which critics say will deprive South Korean players of due playing time. It should be mentioned that Russian athletes are still capable of competing in the Olympics, but if they choose to do so, they won't be able to compete under their own flag but will instead be required to compete while wearing neutral uniforms.

Murray said the only criteria she has to decide who plays is what is best for the team.

Hyon Song Wol, the head of the Samjiyon Orchestra, is leading delegation, which is the first to visit the South in connection with the Pyeongchang games.

The North later notified the South it would send the delegation on Sunday.

The current mood of reconciliation between the Koreas began after North Korean leader Kim expressed his willingness to improve ties and send a delegation to the Olympics during his annual New Year's address.

South Korea's President Moon Jae In's popularity has dipped after a series of political dust-ups and disapproval of including North Koreans in South Korean Olympic endeavors. After the unified team decision, the Liberty Korea Party released a statement "joining the public to denounce the Moon Jae-in's declaration of the 'Pyongyang Olympics.'" They seem deeply anxious that the Olympics could end up a success that leads to dialogue between South and North.

A survey conducted by South Korean SBS TV found that 82 percent of respondents in their 20s and 30s were negative about a unified team, about 10 percentage points higher than the average for all age groups.

Hyon's delegation had been expected in South Korea on Saturday, but North Korea canceled that plan Friday night before it proposed a two-day trip starting Sunday. She now leads her country's efforts to make the so-called "Peace Olympics" a reality.