SEOUL, Jan. 23 (Korea Bizwire) — A South Korean delegation is set to travel to North Korea on Tuesday to inspect the venues where the two Koreas will hold joint cultural and sports events to celebrate the upcoming 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
The visit by 12 officials follows a North Korean team’s two-day stay in South Korea, which ended Monday. The North Korean team came to the South to inspect art performance venues in Seoul and Gangneung, a sub-host city of the Olympics.
Led by Lee Joo-tae, director-general for the inter-Korean exchange and cooperation in the Ministry of Unification, the South Korean team will make a three-day visit to the Mount Kumgang area and Masikryong Ski Resort, both in the east of North Korea.
They will use the East Sea Line, one of the two inter-Korean passes, which has not been used since October 2015.
It is the first North Korea visit by South Korean government officials in nearly two years since February 2016, when the South shut down the Kaesong Industrial Complex, a factory park in a namesake North Korean border city that the two Koreas jointly operated.
The officials plan to first look into a performance hall and other facilities in the Mount Kumgang resort, where a joint cultural event will be held.
An inter-Korean tour program to the mountain, which started in 1998, was suspended in 2008 after a South Korean tourist was shot to death by a North Korean soldier in the area.
They will then move to the ski slope in Masikryong to check roads and facilities ahead of joint ski training.
The final leg of the three-day visit is a trip to Kalma Airport, a military airfield that could be used to fly in South Korean ski trainees to the North Korean ski resort.
In growing signs of easing tension on the Korean Peninsula, the two Koreas agreed on the North’s participation in the Olympics, as well as a series of working-level exchanges to prepare for joint cultural and sports events for the Olympics.
Another North Korean inspection team will come to the South to look around Olympic stadiums and accommodations on the day the South Korean delegation returns home Thursday.