South Korea on Saturday requested North Korea to explain why it abruptly canceled plans to send a delegation over the weekend to prepare for a visit by an art troupe during next month's Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said that the countries could hopefully reschedule a visit soon.
North Korea also hasn't responded to the South Korean proposal to send a 12-member delegation to the North on Tuesday to inspect preparations for a joint cultural event at the North's scenic Diamond Mountain and a training session between non-Olympic skiers at the North's Masik ski resort ahead of the Olympics.
The ministry said North Korea didn't explain why it was "suspending" the visit by the seven-member advance team that was agreed just hours earlier on Friday through a cross-border hotline. It wasn't immediately clear whether the two-day visit, which was to begin on Saturday, was canceled or just postponed.
It was supposed to be led by the art troupe's leader Hyon Song Wol.She also heads the hugely popular girl band Moranbong that's hand-picked by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
The rival Koreas earlier this week agreed that the 140-member Samjiyon art troupe, which will include singers, dancers and orchestra members, will perform twice in South Korea during the games in a sign of warming ties between the countries. It will be part of a North Korean Olympic delegation that will also include athletes, officials, state media reporters, a cheering group and a taekwondo demonstration team, reports AP.