North Korea blames biased media coverage for cancellation of joint Olympics event

by WorldTribune Staff, January 29, 2018

North Korea on Jan. 29 called off a joint cultural event with South Korea that was to celebrate the upcoming Winter Olympic Games.

North and South Korean athletes will march together at the Winter Olympics opening ceremony under a unified flag. / AP

Pyongyang cited what it claimed to be “biased” media reports about the scheduled Feb. 4 event at Mount Kumgang in North Korea, the South Korean Yonhap news agency reported.

The North also reportedly took issue with South Korean reports that the North was considering holding a parade marking the 70th anniversary of its military on Feb. 8, one day before the start of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.

“It is very regrettable that an event agreed by the South and the North will not be held due to North Korea’s unilateral notification (decision),” the South Korean government said in a statement. “What has been agreed must be implemented under the spirit of mutual respect and understanding as the South and the North have only taken a hard-earned first step toward improving the South-North relationship.”

The Feb. 4 event at Mount Kumgang was to be part of a series of events to be held in the divided Koreas ahead of the Olympics.

Pyongyang also agreed to stage art performances and taekwondo demonstrations in South Korea to commemorate its participation in the games, the Yonhap report said.

North Korea reportedly also will host a group of South Korean skiers for a joint training session at its Masikryong Ski Resort on Jan. 31.

“Whether the other events will be held as scheduled could not immediately be confirmed,” Yonahp’s report said, adding the scheduled events include art performances by a North Korean art troupe in Gangneung, near the host city of the Winter Olympic Games, and Seoul.

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