12:23 GMT27 November 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik), Ksenia Shakalova - A significant change in ties between the two Koreas is unlikely, although not impossible, after the upcoming Games that will take place in South Korea with the participation of the North, Sumi Jo, a renowned South Korean opera singer and honorary ambassador for the Winter Olympic 2018, told Sputnik.

    "Seriously I don’t think that we can expect significant change politically. But you never know. I believe in miracle and who knows maybe this kind of cultural benefits can give us sort of luck… It is a good sign, but I don’t expect a huge change, I don’t think so," Jo, appointed the honorary ambassador on May 22, said.

    Earlier in January, the two Koreas agreed that their national teams would march together under a "unified Korea" flag at the opening ceremony for the Olympics. The two countries will form a joint women's ice hockey team.

    The relationship between the two countries became especially tense over the last year, as North Korea continued to pursue its nuclear and missile programs. However, North Korea's leader Kim Jong UN backed the possibility of Pyongyang sending the athletes to the Olympic games in his New Year's address. The two sides then held a meeting in the demilitarized zone between the two countries to discuss the participation of North Korea in the games and agreed that North Korean athletes will compete in figure skating, short track, and skiing.

    READ MORE: DPRK-Pop: Stealing Seoul’s Olympic Thunder, Pyongyang Exports Hot Talent

    The opera singer wished success to the Russian athletes, whose road to the Olympics has been complicated with doping abuse allegations.

    "I really hope that it goes smoothly for [Russian athletes] them without any problems because they have been working, they have been practicing for many years. I wish them all the luck and good things for their life," Jo said.

    On Saturday, the International Olympic Committee confirmed it had invited 169 Russian athletes to compete in the upcoming Winter Games under the neutral flag. The invitations have not however been extended to a number of leading athletes including those who were not accused of doping violations.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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