- North Korea canceled a joint event with the South
- It blamed 'media bias'
- South Korea said it is still continuing discussions on joint events
- The two will parade together under a unified flag during the Olympics
South Korea says it is continuing discussions with North Korea on the holding of joint events during the Winter Olympics next month despite the recent cancellation by Pyongyang of one such event.
South Korea’s Unification Ministry announced on Tuesday that Pyongyang had sent a message on Monday night stating that it would not hold a joint cultural event at North Korea’s Diamond Mountain on Feb. 4 as part of ceremonies to mark the Winter Games in the South’s Pyeongchang City.
The ministry further cited Pyongyang as saying that it had no other option but to cancel the project, blaming South Korean media reports for encouraging “insulting” public sentiments and carrying reports that undermined its “sincere” efforts for participation in the Olympics.
Despite that cancellation, the North and South were still in talks to work out a plan to send South Korean athletes to train at North Korea’s Masikryong ski resort, an official at South Korea’s Unification Ministry told Reuters anonymously.
The two Koreas launched rare talks in early January to bring North Koreans to the Pyeongchang Games after the North’s leader Kim Jong-un expressed his willingness to open up discussions with Seoul during his New Year’s speech.
- N. Korea Cancels Joint Event With South, Blames ‘Biased Media’
- North Korean Ice Hockey Players Arrive in South for Unified Olympics Team
Those talks continue to be cause for hope that inter-Korean tensions can ease.
The North also accused South Korean media of picking a fight over an unspecified national festival in North Korea, according to the Unification Ministry statement.
Some South Korean press reports had censured Pyongyang’s plan to stage a major event to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of its military on Feb. 8, just a day before the Olympics’ opening ceremony.
The two Koreas have already agreed to field a joint women’s hockey team and have their athletes parade together under a single flag during the opening ceremony on Feb. 9.
The current reconciliation mood followed a year of heightened hostilities over Pyongyang’s weapons program.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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