“BIASED” and “insulting” media coverage has prompted North Korea to abruptly cancel a joint cultural performance with South Korea, South Korea‘s unification ministry said on Monday.
The performance was scheduled to be held in the North Korean territory of Mount Kumgang on Feb 4, but the North said it had no choice but to call off the performance after South Korean media continued to insult what Pyongyang called “sincere” measures regarding the Winter Olympics Seoul will host next month, the ministry said.
The performance was one of the outcomes of rare talks between the North and the South that started in early January with the aim of bringing North Koreans to the Pyeongyang games in February.
There was also discussion of a North Korean orchestra performing in the South, and sending South Korean athletes to train in Masikryong, Kim Jong Un’s flagship ski resort.
Seoul said North Korea’s decision to cancel the joint performance was “very regrettable” and stressed Pyongyang should uphold all agreements made between North and South Korea.
President Moon Jae-in’s administration has faced criticism for its response to North Korea’s participation in the Games, especially after it decided to form a combined women’s ice hockey team with athletes from the two Koreas for the Winter Olympics.
Many South Koreans have complained the unified women’s hockey team – the only such joint team to be formed – was unfair to the South Korean players, going so far as creating over a hundred petitions against the unified team on the presidential Blue House’s website.
The date of the Mount Kumgang performance was agreed despite it coinciding with two of Pyongyang’s major holidays coming up next month – Kim Jong Il’s birthday and a military founding anniversary.
Additional reporting by Reuters