South Korea will use a chartered plane to fly its skiers to North Korea for joint training and will not pay the airport fee to the North, as such a payment would violate worldwide sanctions, Seoul officials said Monday.
The members of the youth national team are likely to participate in the training, the South's Korea Ski Association said, instead of athletes directly competing at the Winter Games.
U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis arrived in Hawaii on Friday after a visit to Indonesia and Vietnam.
Fox News adds that one of the sources said North Korea's participation in the upcoming Winter Olympics, set to be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, is reportedly "a scheme to refill [Kim's] coffers".
"Any efforts to drive a wedge in the U.S. -ROK Alliance would fail", it said. "Our response to this threat remains diplomacy-led, backed up with military options available to ensure that our diplomats are understood to be speaking from a position of strength".
The 12-member delegation toured areas such as the Masikryong Ski Resort, Mt Kumgang area where a joint training event of skiers from the south and north sides and a joint cultural event are to be held ahead of the 23rd Winter Olympics.
Abe reiterated his intention to attend the opening ceremony for the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, on February 9.
Heightening the tension in the region, all the signs are that Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, is planning...
Still, some analysts believe Pyongyang will ultimately be able to obtain a nuclear weapon that is capable of targeting the United States mainland.
Mattis said the pair would "of course" discuss the policy of seeking a nuclear-free North Korea as sought by the United States, South Korea, Japan, China, Russia and the United Nations Security Council.
The talks are seen as an important step as it is the first time the North and South have been in dialogue in around two years. But the statement was also confirmed by U.S. intelligence data.
The president's remarks have raised concerns in the region that the USA and North Korea are hurtling toward a confrontation.
The official said that South Korea needs to solve the electricity issue, but tough sanctions imposed by the United Nations and the United States are making it hard for Seoul to send refined oil to the North.