The North Korean girl band performing at the Winter Olympics


The visit to the South marks the first by North Koreans since South Korean President Moon Jae-in took office in May past year and sought to re-engage with the North.

Hyon Song-Wol, reportedly an ex-girlfriend of leader Kim Jong-Un, would have been the first North Korean official to visit the South in four years if Saturday's trip had gone ahead.

The seven-member North Korean delegation, led by musician Hyon Song-wol, will check venues for performances by a 140-strong art troupe at the Olympics.

An advance team of a North Korean orchestra crossed over to South Korea on Sunday to check the conditions of venues where the ensemble will perform during the Winter Olympics next month. It's where joint-training sessions between the two Koreas will take place, but controversially it will not involve any South Korean Olympic athletes, which has led some to criticize the objective of the joint exercises.

Hyon is leader of the popular North Korean pop band, Moranbong, a group that has been compared to the likes of the Spice Girls.

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Hundreds of police officers were tasked with maintaining order as her bus arrived at the railway station.

South Korea's liberal government led by President Moon Jae-in sees North Korea's participation in the games, both in sporting events and cultural exchanges, as a way to calm tensions caused by the North's recent nuclear and missile tests and war of words with the United States.

South Korean and North Korean women will compete in hockey, with the North Korean athletes being included in the game for political reasons, rather than their merit as athletes.

"Such an agreement would have seemed impossible only a few weeks ago", he added.

Some suggested that the move might even cast doubt on the North's participation in the Olympics, which will be held in the South Korean city of Pyeongchang.

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At a press briefing on Monday, Moon asked South Koreans to give the inter-Korean collaboration a chance.

"This team will enter the Olympic Stadium under the Korean unification flag". The 2018 Winter Olympics have provided an opportunity that should help the cause and bring peace to the Korean peninsula. "Our meeting today shows that Olympic sport always builds bridges".

The Olympic spirit is about respect, dialogue and understanding.

It took about two hours for the North Koreans to reach Gangneung, the first leg of their two-day, two-stop visit.

South Korea's Ministry of Unification on Saturday requested an explanation, and informed the North that Seoul intends to follow the plans agreed to in the high-level talks.

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On Monday, the delegation are scheduled to inspect various concert halls in the South Korean capital before returning to North Korea.