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North Korea selects 2 venues in South Korea for Olympic concerts

North Korea selects 2 venues in South Korea for Olympic concerts

"As usual the (South Korean) government is too willing to be fooled by North Korea", Kim said.

With the two Koreas having agreed to march in together at their opening ceremony, the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games can send "the message of peace" to the rest of the world, the world Olympic chief said Tuesday.

They contend that the South has the most to gain from North Korea's involvement in the Games.

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

Still, Wednesday's protest at Seoul's National Assembly, led by North Korea-born activist Park Sang-hak, may trigger an angry response from the North, which is extremely sensitive to what it sees as insults to its supreme leadership.

South Korea's presidential office on Tuesday also released a statement seeking public support for North Korea's participation in the PyeongChang Games and reiterated President Moon Jae-in's position that it will bring about stability and peace on the Korean peninsula.

The DPRK sent an advance team of orchestra Sunday to South Korea for concerts during the South Korea-hosted Winter Olympics. The North called the protesters "human scum" and demanded Seoul apologize, "sternly punish" those involved and prevent such acts from happening.

Song Seung-hwan, who is serving as the executive creative director for the Pyeongchang ceremonies, said peace had been set as the main motif of the opening gala even before North Korea made a decision to join the Games.

Pence will conduct media interviews during his visit to South Korea, the official said. Party lawmaker Na Kyung-won even sent the International Olympic Committee (IOC) a letter expressing her opposition to the unified team.

The Koreas came to an agreement on the joint march last Wednesday, and Bach chaired a meeting involving representatives from both sides Saturday and approved the Koreas' request for their first joint march at an Olympics since 2006.

North Korea's participation in the Games - including a 140-member orchestra, a 230-person cheering squad and 30-athlete taekwondo exhibition team - has been seized upon by Moon's conservative opponents. He is one of the few foreigners to have met with Kim Jong Un since Kim became the North's leader.

One Twitter user wrote that the joint hockey team is "backstabbing all the athletes who sweat blood and everyone else who spared no effort to host the Olympics, just to use it as (North Korean leader) Kim Jong Un's propaganda".

President Moon Jae-in and other South Koreans have welcomed the North's participation in the games as an opportunity to ease the tensions that have built up over the past year over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program.

And, as if alarm bells have not been set off by those opposed to the move, it was announced recently that North Korea could potentially stage another military parade on the eve of the Games to commemorate the founding of its military forces in 1948.

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