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North Korea to send ceremonial head Kim Yong-nam South

February 4, 2018 4:12 pm

North Korea is to send its highest ranking official for years to the South amid a diplomatic rapprochement sparked by 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 Ministry.

The two Koreas’ athletes will march under one flag at the opening ceremony.

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Their united women’s ice hockey team played its first match on Sunday, but lost the friendly against Sweden 1-3.

The unified Korean ice hockey team will get a chance to even the score when they face Sweden again during the Games.

Sunday’s outing was the first and only practice match for the newly minted Korean squad.

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Kim Yong-nam is the head of the parliament in the North and will be the highest-level official to visit South Korea in four years.

An unnamed official from the South’s presidential Blue House told the BBC that they believe this reflected a willingness on the part of North Korea to improve inter-Korean relations, and demonstrated the North’s sincerity.

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