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South Korea to send K-pop singers to Pyongyang in late March

[SEOUL] A group of South Korea's K-pop singers will visit Pyongyang from March 31, the South said on Tuesday, a reciprocal visit after North Korea sent performers to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

The South Koreans, numbering roughly 160, will visit North Korea until April 3, the South's Ministry of Unification said in a statement.

K-pop girl group Red Velvet and music industry veterans Cho Yong-pil and Lee Sun-hee will be among the group, the ministry said, after the neighbours' delegations held talks on the performances at the truce border village of Panmunjom.

The visitors will hold two shows in Pyongyang, one at the East Pyongyang Grand Theatre and the other at the Ryukyung Chung Ju Yung Gymnasium.

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The East Pyongyang Grand Theatre was the backdrop to a landmark performance by the New York Philharmonic in 2008, while the latter spot was a joint project between the North and South, named after Hyundai Group founder Chung Ju-yung.

Officials will visit the North from March 22 to 24 to inspect the sites and ensure they can accommodate the singers, the ministry added.

The deal is the latest step in the detente that began after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said at the beginning of the year that he intended to improve ties.

North Korea has since agreed to hold summits with the South and the United States, apart from participating last month in the Olympics in South Korea.