North Korea cancels unified performance with South
On January 17th, North Korea and South Korea agreed to march jointly under one unified flag during the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics.
But the Kim Jong-Un today, cancelled the joint performance blaming South Korean media for encouraging “insulting” public sentiment regarding the Northern state.
Seoul’s Unification ministry said North’s decision to cancel the joint performance was “very regrettable” and stressed Pyongyang should uphold all agreements made between North and South Korea.
North’s plans was to send a 230-member cheering squad, and offered to the use a land route for the delegation that will also include athletes, officials, musicians and reporters, according to the ministry. South Korea was yet to respond to these requests. The two sides also discussed issues such as a joint march at the opening ceremony, and Kim’s participation in the Paralympics”, Bloomberg said.
The sides were yet to decide who will represent Kim Jong Un at the Games to be held in the ski resort of Pyeongchang from Feb. 9. Last week, they agreed to allow a 140-member North’s orchestra to perform concerts in Seoul and Gangneung, a vacation city near Pyeongchang.
At an International Olympic Committee meeting in Switzerland, officials were to decide on matters such as the number and names of North’s athletes and Olympic officials, the committee said in a statement last week. They were also to decide on participation protocol regarding the flag that North Korea will compete under, as well as other matters concerning the anthem, ceremonies and uniforms.
But the signs were obvious that the Olympics may only be a temporary break from Kim’s threats and push to develop nuclear weapons capable of hitting America, a Northern state-run newspaper called on South Korea to stop its military drills with the U.S.