Talks at the border village of Panmunjom focus on appearances by North Korea's state-run artistic performers and when and where in South Korea they would perform, officials say.

This file photo taken on February 10, 2006 shows South Korean and North Korean athletes marching together during the opening ceremony of the 2006 Winter Olympics at the Olympic stadium in Turin. South Korea has proposed marching together with North Korea at next month's Winter Olympics opening ceremony and also forming a joint women's ice hockey team, a government minister said on January 12, 2018.
This file photo taken on February 10, 2006 shows South Korean and North Korean athletes marching together during the opening ceremony of the 2006 Winter Olympics at the Olympic stadium in Turin. South Korea has proposed marching together with North Korea at next month's Winter Olympics opening ceremony and also forming a joint women's ice hockey team, a government minister said on January 12, 2018. (AFP Archive)

Officials from the Koreas met on Monday to work out details about North Korea's plan to send an art troupe to the South during next month's Winter Olympics, as the rivals tried to follow up on the North's recent agreement to co-operate in the games in a conciliatory gesture following months of nuclear tensions.

Monday's talks at the border village of Panmunjom will focus on the makeup of an art troupe and when and where in South Korea they would perform, according to South Korean officials.

Drawing keen attention is whether the North would send its famous "Moranbong Band," an all-female ensemble hand-picked by the North's leader Kim Jong-un. One of the North Korean delegates to the talks is Hyon Song-wol, the head of the Moranbong Band, according to Seoul's unification ministry.

The North has said its delegation to the February 9-25 Games in Pyeongchang would include an art troupe along with officials, athletes, cheerleaders, journalists and a taekwondo demonstration team.

North Korea last week agreed to send an Olympic delegation and hold military talks aimed at reducing front line animosities in its first formal talks with South Korea in about two years. They were both key steps the South asked North Korea to accept.

TRT World's Joseph Kim has the latest from Seoul.

Reunion talks later

South Korea's unification ministry said that talks with the North on the reunion of separated families would resume "after inter-Korean relations further improve."

Baek Tae-hyun denied reports that Pyongyang had set the return of 12 North Korean restaurant workers who came to South Korea from China in 2016 as a precondition for holding talks on reunions.

Baek said Seoul and Pyongyang had no "major conflict over the issue" during last week's first formal talks between the countries in about two years. 

The spokesman also said that details about the North's delegation being sent to next month's Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang will be finalised at an International Olympic Committee meeting on January 20.

Veiled threat

In a development that still shows their bitter animosities, the North issued a veiled threat on Sunday indicating it could cancel its plans to send an Olympic delegation to protest what it called South Korea's "sordid acts of chilling" the prospect for inter-Korean reconciliation. 

"They should know that train and bus carrying our delegation to the Olympics are still in Pyongyang," the North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said. 

"The South Korean authorities had better ponder over what unfavourable results may be entailed by their impolite behaviour."

The KCNA criticised South Korean President Moon Jae-in for crediting President Donald Trump for getting the North to sit down with the South. 

'Peace Olympics'

Seoul and Olympic organisers have been keen for Pyongyang – which boycotted the 1988 Summer Games in the South's capital Seoul – to take part in what they have been promoting as a "peace Olympics."

Tension has been high on the flashpoint peninsula as the North staged a flurry of nuclear and missile tests since last year and Kim traded threats of war and personal attacks with US President Donald Trump.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies