North Korean woman band chief heads delegation to South

Jennifer Jones right and Kaitlyn Lawes left as they sit and watch their opponent during the women's curling semifinal game against Britain at the 2014 Winter Olympics in S

North Korean woman band chief heads delegation to South

Hyon, arriving in a long black winter coat, fur scarf and high heels with her hair half tied to the back, did not make any public remarks to the local media, as a throng of reporters shadowed her from the Hwang Young-cho Gymnasium in Gangneung Myeongnyun High School to the Gangneung Arts Center, which are two strong candidates for the orchestra concert in Gangneung.

During working-level talks last week, the North said it would send a 140-member art troupe during next month's PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games to give one performance each in Seoul and Gangneung to celebrate the big event.

She and her 10-member Moranbong band are the glamorous face of North Korea - and have been described as Pyongyang's answer to the Spice Girls.

Hyon's arrival came hours after the International Olympic Committee allowed 22 North Korean athletes to take part in the Olympics in exceptional entries given to the North.

President Donald Trump recently encouraged North Korea to participate in the Olympics, and the US and South Korea have postponed military exercises responding to the North's nuclear and missile development program until after the games.

After consultations with Seoul throughout the afternoon, both sides agreed that the North Koreans would cross over the border through the west coast on Saturday morning.

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During their two-day stay, the prep team will inspect concert venues and facilities as well as discuss dates and programs for the performance.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said during his New Year's Day address that he is open to peace talks with South Korea. Under Kim's rule, the band has modernised the North's propaganda music scene by wearing short skirts and performing American pop standards like "My Way" and the "Rocky" theme song.

North Korea will send 22 athleteswho will compete in three sports, Bach said, following a meeting between delegations from the two Koreas and Olympic officials in Lausanne, Switzerland.Athletes from the North and South will also march together under one flag at the opening ceremony for the Games in Pyeongchang, which begin February 9, Bach said.

The delegation includes athletes, officials and cheerleaders.

Hyon, the head of the Moranbong Band, was feared dead after her on-again-off-again relationship with the chubby dictator broke down, first during the mid-2000s and then again in 2012. The South Korean delegation will inspect sites where the two Koreas agreed to launch a pre-Olympic cultural event and also train their skiers together.

The performances will be the first by a North Korean group in South Korea since 2002.

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