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(LEAD) N. Korean delegation returns home after inspection visit to S. Korea

2018/01/27 17:42

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(ATTN: RECASTS dateline, headline and lead; UPDATES on delegation's departure)

PAJU/SEOUL, Jan. 27 (Yonhap) -- An official North Korean delegation returned home Saturday after a three-day visit to inspect venues for the upcoming Winter Olympic Games and accommodations for a North Korean delegation to the event.

The eight-member delegation departed via a western land route across the heavily-fortified inter-Korean border, according to pool reports.

North Korea agreed to take part in the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games to be held from Feb. 9-25 and also hold joint cultural events with the South to celebrate the quadrennial event.

A North Korean delegation, headed by Yun Yong-bok (R), a senior official from the North's sports ministry, arrives at the headquarters of South Korean broadcaster MBC, in Seoul, on Jan. 27, 2018. The delegation was on a three-day trip to inspect venues for joint cultural and art events before the start of the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games in South Korea. (Yonhap) A North Korean delegation, headed by Yun Yong-bok (R), a senior official from the North's sports ministry, arrives at the headquarters of South Korean broadcaster MBC, in Seoul, on Jan. 27, 2018. The delegation was on a three-day trip to inspect venues for joint cultural and art events before the start of the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games in South Korea. (Yonhap)

The visit by the eight-member delegation followed an earlier trip by Hyon Song-wol, head of the Samjiyon Orchestra, to inspect venues for an art performance by the North's all-female Moranbong Band.

The latest visit by North Korean officials was aimed at checking the venues for the winter Olympic Games, as well as other venues for various joint events between the two Koreas, which will include performances by a North Korean taekwondo demonstration team.

The North Korean delegation returned to Seoul earlier in the day following its two-day trip to Gangneung, located 260 kilometers east of Seoul, and nearby Pyeongchang, the host city of the 2018 Winter Olympics.

In Seoul, the North Korean officials visited the headquarters of a local broadcaster where the North Korean taekwondo team is expected to stage a performance before the start of the Olympic Games.

The North Korean officials expressed great satisfaction with the possible venue for the taekwondo demonstration, only filing minor requests, such as protective floor padding for taekwondo demonstrators, according to a pool report from the unification ministry's joint press corp.

North Korea is expected to send a delegation of 400 or more to the PyeongChang Olympics.

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