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North Korean singer's visit part of strategy to rattle South

By Elizabeth Shim
North Korean singer's visit part of strategy to rattle South
Hyon Song Wol (C), leader of North Korea’s Samjiyon Orchestra, was sent as part of a political strategy to keep South Korea in suspense, according to a source in the North. File Photo by Yonhap

Jan. 24 (UPI) -- International media attention on a North Korean musician who recently visited the South is enabling a North Korean strategy to secure more power in future negotiations, a source in North Korea says.

An unnamed senior North Korean source who spoke to South Korean news service Daily NK said the regime delivered a lecture Friday, which the source attended, stressing the aim of Hyon Song Wol's trip was fortifying North Korea's position.

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"By making [the South Koreans] focus on an unimportant problem, we can secure a strong leadership," the source said, quoting the North Korean state lecturer.

The international media's focus on Hyon, and on unfounded rumors she is the paramour of leader Kim Jong Un, are all working in the North's favor, the source said.

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"Against the backdrop of a negotiation strategy, approval of each case comes from the central committee of the [Workers'] Party, so we were informed to be at ease."

The source also said the last-minute cancellation or postponement of Hyon's trip to the South was part of North Korea's tactic to keep the South rattled or nervous.

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"The suspension was thoroughly planned in advance," Daily NK's source said, adding the state lecturer informed the audience of plans to execute the plan in order to "test South Korea's will."

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The source also said North Korea plans to execute similar strategies in the coming weeks to keep Seoul uneasy and to procure a means to have the upper hand in future negotiations.

North Korea is sending an advance team of delegates, including its taekwondo demonstration team, athletes, cheerleaders and reporters to the South on Thursday, Herald Business reported.

The North Korean women's ice hockey team will also be part of the group that is being dispatched to the South to inspect the suitability of the facilities at the site of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, according to the report.

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