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North Korea to Send Ceremonial Head Kim Yong-Nam

Pyongyang (February 05, 2018):North Korea is to send its highest ranking official for years to the South amid an easing of tensions during the Winter Olympics.

Kim Yong-nam, the ceremonial head of state, will lead a 22-member delegation to the South beginning on Friday, said the South’s Unification MinistryThe two Koreas’ athletes will march under one flag at the opening ceremony.

The North’s participation in the Games is widely seen as a diplomatic manoeuvre by Pyongyang.North Korea currently faces growing international pressure and sanctions over its nuclear and missile programmes.

North Korea on Monday proposed sending an art troupe to the Games by ferry, a move that would require an exemption from bilateral sanctions.Pyongyang proposed that its delegation use the Mangyongbong 92, a ferry that usually operates between North Korea and Russia, for transportation and as accommodation for the group, according to the South’s unification ministry.All North Korean ships have been banned from entering South Korean ports since 2010.”We’re seeking to apply an exemption… to support a successful hosting of the Olympics,” South Korean ministry spokesman Baik Tae-hyun told a press conference.

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