North Korean technicians cross into South for Olympics prep

 
 
Posted2/5/2018 7:00 AM
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  • Members of a traditional Korean band march through the streets near the Pyeongchang Olympic Plaza to celebrate the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Monday, Feb. 5, 2018.

    Members of a traditional Korean band march through the streets near the Pyeongchang Olympic Plaza to celebrate the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Monday, Feb. 5, 2018. Associated Press

  • A worker uses a chainsaw to work on a large ice sculpture being built near the Pyeongchang Olympic Plaza as preparations continue for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Monday, Feb. 5, 2018.

    A worker uses a chainsaw to work on a large ice sculpture being built near the Pyeongchang Olympic Plaza as preparations continue for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Monday, Feb. 5, 2018. Associated Press

  • Workers walk up a ramp at the Pyeongchang Olympic Plaza as preparations continue for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Monday, Feb. 5, 2018.

    Workers walk up a ramp at the Pyeongchang Olympic Plaza as preparations continue for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Monday, Feb. 5, 2018. Associated Press

  • A protester steps on a photo of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a rally before the women's ice hockey practice match between the combined Koreas team and Sweden prior to the 2018 Winter Olympics, outside of the ice rink in Incheon, South Korea, Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018.

    A protester steps on a photo of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a rally before the women's ice hockey practice match between the combined Koreas team and Sweden prior to the 2018 Winter Olympics, outside of the ice rink in Incheon, South Korea, Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018. Associated Press

  • Sweden's players, in yellow, celebrate after scoring against combined Koreas during their women's ice hockey friendly game at Seonhak International Ice Rink in Incheon, South Korea, Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018. (Kim Hong-Ji/Pool Photo via AP)

    Sweden's players, in yellow, celebrate after scoring against combined Koreas during their women's ice hockey friendly game at Seonhak International Ice Rink in Incheon, South Korea, Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018. (Kim Hong-Ji/Pool Photo via AP) Associated Press

  • A protester tears up a North Korean flag during a rally before the women's ice hockey practice match between the combined Koreas team and Sweden prior to the 2018 Winter Olympics, outside of the ice rink in Incheon, South Korea, Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018.

    A protester tears up a North Korean flag during a rally before the women's ice hockey practice match between the combined Koreas team and Sweden prior to the 2018 Winter Olympics, outside of the ice rink in Incheon, South Korea, Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018. Associated Press

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea -- A 23-member advance team of North Koreans arrived in South Korea on Monday to prepare for the North's participation in the Pyeongchang Olympics, South Korean officials said.

The South's Unification Ministry, which handles inter-Korean issues, said the North Korean team is mostly made up of technicians. The South's Yonhap news agency said they came with sound, lighting and other systems.

The North Koreans' participation in the Olympics is part of a series of conciliatory measures the war-separated rivals took for the Pyeongchang Games. South Korea sees the Olympics as an opportunity to revive meaningful communication with North Korea following an extended period of animosity and diplomatic stalemate over the North's nuclear program.

The Olympics begin Friday.

North Korea plans to send hundreds to the games, including athletes, officials, artists and a 230-member cheering group.

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