Both groups will be travelling along newly reopened inter-Korean overland routesWith the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics just 17 days away, advance teams from South and North Korea that will be crossing the border to prepare for the arrival of athletes and officials from both sides will be starting their itineraries on January 23.
"This is a risky act of throwing a wet blanket over the current positive atmosphere of inter-Korean relations", the envoy said. What if the US President gets the idea that North Korea has used the Olympic truce period to further develop its nuclear weapon program?
North Korea's participation at February's Winter Olympics will form an integral part of an opening ceremony that will highlight a key message of peace, Games organisers said on Tuesday.
The official was referring to North Korea by its full name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
Earlier this month, despite the promise, the U.S. sent one new amphibious assault ship, an extra aircraft carrier and a slew of bombers to the Indo-Pacific region. But that sentiment is far from unanimous in the South, where others see it as a bid by Mr. Kim to weaken worldwide unity on sanctions against the North, and to turn the Games into what conservative critics are disdainfully calling the "Pyongyang Olympics".
K. MOON: There is real concern and empathy for the South Korean players, especially the women's ice hockey team that's basically being forced to play with strangers. The president's approval rating has dropped sharply, and in Seoul today protesters set fire to a photo of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. At the time, Kim said he would be willing to send a delegation to the Olympic Games being held in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
What most commentators overlooked was that Moon's invitation to North Korea was also an encrypted diplomatic message to the USA administration that the newly-elected South Korean government did not intend to follow the more confrontational, often incoherent, foreign policy approach favoured by the American president, Donald Trump.
With the two Koreas planning a host of Olympic-related functions including a joint cultural event in the North's Mount Kumkang resort, concerts in both countries and a Taekwondo demonstration in the South, there was a risk the events may overshadow the Games, said the former diplomat Kim.
'They are using South Korea to overcome their difficulties.
K. MOON: Unification has to be something that both Koreas substantively work on. The rest of the North Korean participants will also receive International Olympic Committee quota places. They are unpredictable. These Olympic things will not last long enough.
But there's another requirement these days, according to reports from inside North Korea: bribes. We may not be able to create such an opportunity for dialogue again, Moon said, referring to the fragile state of relations right now.
BYUN JOO-KYUNG: We have a lot of tension, so maybe we have to lower it. The ultimate stunt pulled by North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un, to test the patience of Western leaders, will be to announce his presence at the opening ceremony.