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South Korean Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung center leaves for the border village of Panmunjom to attend South and North Korea meeting at the Office of the South Korea North Korea Dialogue in Seoul South Korea Wednesday Jan. 17 2018. (AP Ph

North and South Korea agree to form first JOINT Olympic team and march under unified flag in PyeongChang 2018 opening ceremony

After a series of meetings, both Koreas agreed not only on Pyongyang's participation, but also announced that their athletes will march together at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics next month in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The statement additionally said that the South will send skiers to the Masikryong ski resort in the North for joint training with North Korean skiers.

The two nations have since agreed upon the North's participation, its first in the Winter Games since 2010, and have also agreed to allow the isolated nation to bring a large musical troupe south for performances.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the meeting's co-hosts, were united during a closing news conference in emphasizing that a nuclear-armed North Korea would never be accepted. Last year, North Korea carried out its sixth and biggest nuclear test explosion and test-fired three intercontinental ballistic missiles, and Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump traded threats of war and crude insults against each other.

"Russia is not helping us at all with North Korea", Trump said.

Nevertheless South Korea would continue the high-level talks with "clear eyes".

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Tillerson said all countries needed to work together to improve interdiction of ships attempting to skirt sanctions and said there must be "new consequences" for North Korea "whenever new aggression occurs".

The South Korean newspaper The Chosun Ilbo reported Tuesday that the North demanded the return of 12 women who escaped in 2016 from their jobs at restaurant in Ningbo, China, a demand the paper said the South is legally bound to refuse. "The fact that North Korea is engaging in dialogue could be interpreted as proof that the sanctions are working".

While some in the Moon administration may feel "romantic" about reconciliation with North Korea, many in South Korea now see this as a "delusion", said author Michael Breen, who has studied South Korea for decades. "We're playing a very, very hard game of poker and you don't want to reveal your hand", he said.

Meanwhile, Trump lashed out at Russian Federation, accusing it of helping North Korea evade United Nations sanctions meant to press the country to give up its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

"Members of the cheering squad must be from a good family", Ahn said.

North Korea said after its last intercontinental ballistic missile launch in November that the test had put the USA mainland within range.

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North Korea's apparent show of unity with the South is being met with surprise and some scepticism.

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A joint statement distributed by the ministry said the North Korean Olympic delegation will travel to South Korea across their heavily fortified land border before the February 9-25 Pyeongchang Games.

But the president has gone back and forth with his stance toward Beijing's relationship with North Korea. -South Korea military exercise scheduled to take place in the spring.

Younger South Koreans who did not experience the 1950-1953 Korean War or its Cold War aftermath may also have fewer cross-border ties and less desire to reunite the peninsula than earlier generations.

"We will continue to devote our efforts to secure understanding and support from the global community including the U.S so that the momentum for recent talks can lead to peaceful resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue", the ministry said in a briefing document.

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