Head of hugely popular N. Korea girl band to visit S. Korea

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A senior Cheong Wa Dae official made the remarks on Sunday, saying that the formation of the joint ice hockey team seems to have been arranged rationally.

On Saturday, the International Olympic Committee said North Korea will be allowed to send 22 athletes to compete in three sports, paving the way for the two Koreas to establish a joint team for women's hockey at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

But the North's official Korean Central News Agency hinted at the source of its anger by lashing out at conservatives in South Korea who have argued that the North's Olympic participation could violate United Nations sanctions.

The estranged Koreas agreed Wednesday to parade together at the opening ceremony under a "unification flag", which depicts the Korean Peninsula in blue against a white background. North Korea has been working on an operational ballistic missile submarine, which when completed and coupled with missiles developed using this barge platform, will provide a second leg to North Korea's nuclear deterrent enterprise - or offer a submersible platform from which to launch a first strike. "Injecting North Korean players, even if they outperform us, would hurt the team's overall performance anyway".

The two countries have marched as one in the past without trouble, but Pyongyang's accelerated development of its missile and nuclear programs has intensified tensions on the peninsula.

With South Korea offering to reciprocate by sending teams of its skiers to the North for joint training, there are hopes that this modest initiative between Pyongyang and Seoul could result in a more stable understanding being reached between the two countries.

North Korea is also demanding that American assets withdraw from South Korea and that Seoul end its military cooperation with the country.

Under pressure to build a competitive Olympic hockey team in a hurry, South Korea officials scoured the United States and Canada for players, checking college and amateur team rosters for players with Korean-sounding names.

North Korea now doesn't have any qualified athletes.

The French President emphasised North Korea participating in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics was "a positive element", said the statement. So how could North Korean participation at the Games play out?

Meanwhile President Donald Trump, who in 2017 become embroiled in an escalating war of words with North Korean leader Kim Jung-Il, has cast doubt on the value of talks between the North and South, warning it is "very possible" both sides may not find a resolution - an attitude Mr Shoebridge suggested was less than helpful.

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