By Alex Jensen
SEOUL (AA) - North Korea confirmed Monday it will send their ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-nam to South Korea this week to attend the opening of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
Kim, 90, leads the reclusive state's Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly. As North Korea's symbolic second-in-command behind authoritarian leader Kim Jong-un, he will head up a "high-level" delegation at the start of the Games, according to the North's official media outlet KCNA.
Hours earlier, the South Korean government revealed that Kim would be making a three-day trip from Friday to coincide with the opening of the Winter Olympics, which will start Feb. 9.
It is the latest in a series of cooperation breakthroughs since the Koreas restarted dialogue last month for the first time in over two years.
Seoul's presidential office welcomed the plan as "a reflection of North Korea's willingness to improve inter-Korean ties and help make the PyeongChang Games a success," based on quotes carried by local news agency Yonhap.
Onlookers have also noted that Kim Yong-nam is not blacklisted under sanctions targeting North Korea's development of nuclear weapons, but Seoul could yet have problems on that score depending on who else joins the delegation.
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UPDATE - Turkish army 'neutralized' 1,931 terrorists in AfrinMilitary is taking utmost care to avoid harming any civilians during operation, army says
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