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Seoul: North Korea to send team, officials to Winter Olympics next month

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South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon (L) shakes hands with the head of North Korean delegation Ri Son-Gwon (R) before their meeting at the Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone on January 9, 2018 in Panmunjom, South Korea. South and North Korea are scheduled to begin their first official face-to-face talks in two years on Tuesday, January 9, 2017. (Photo by Korea Pool/Getty Images)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea says North Korea has agreed to send a delegation to next month’s Winter Olympics in the South.

South Korea’s Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung says the North made such a statement during rare talks between the rivals at the border on Tuesday.

He cited the North Korean officials there as saying its delegation would include officials, athletes, cheerleaders and journalists.

Chun says South Korea proposed the two Koreas conduct a joint march during the Game’s opening and closing ceremonies.

He says South Korea also proposed resuming temporary reunions of families separated by war and offering talks designed to reduce animosities in frontline areas.

North Korea has slammed President Donald Trump’s claim that it was his strong position toward Pyongyang that set the stage for the first high-level North-South talks in more than two years.

The North’s ruling party newspaper criticized Trump’s claims that enforcement of sanctions and increased pressure on the North were a “diplomatic success” of his first year in office, calling that a “ridiculous sophism” in a commentary published as the two sides started their talks on Tuesday.

“It is very deplorable to see the U.S. politicians boasting of their diplomatic failure as ‘diplomatic success,'” it said.

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