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140 North Korean musicians to perform in South Korea on eve of Olympics

By Jennie Oh
140 North Korean musicians to perform in South Korea on eve of Olympics
A seven-member North Korean advance team to South Korea visited the National Theater in Seoul. Photo Courtesy of EPA-EFE/UPI.

SEOUL, South Korea, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- North Korean singers, dancers and musicians will perform in South Korea a day before the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games begin.

South Korea's Unification Ministry said Wednesday North Korea's Olympic arts troupe will hold one of its concerts on Feb. 8 at the Gangneung Art Center in the Olympics' sub-host city of Gangneung.

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The second performance will be staged three days later in the National Theater of Korea's Haeoreum Hall in central Seoul.

The North sent the notification a day after an advance team led by Samjiyon Orchestra chief Hyon Song-wol returned to Pyongyang after examining concert venues in the South.

The North plans to send a 140-member cultural troupe consisting of singers, dancers and roughly 80 orchestra members as part of its Olympic delegation.

The troupe will cross the border to the South via an overland route on Feb. 6 before returning to the North on Feb. 12, a day after its Seoul concert.

In a separate notice, North Korea also informed the South that it will send 12 athletes to train as part of the unified Korean women's ice hockey team.

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Their coach and two assistants will accompany them to the South on Thursday, the notice said.

Over the weekend, the International Olympic Committee decided that 12 North Koreans would join the 23-strong South Korean women's ice hockey team and that three of the North's players would participate in the Games.

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