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The Democratic People"s Republic of Korea has planned to send a high-ranking delegation to the closing ceremony of the 23rd Winter Olympics, boosting hope for a lasting atmosphere for dialogue with the Republic of Korea, Seoul"s unification ministry said on Thursday.
The high-ranking DPRK delegation, led by Kim Yong-chol, vice-chairman of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers" Party of Korea, will make a three-day visit to the ROK starting on Sunday.
Ri Son-gwon, chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, will accompany Kim as a delegate together with six support staff, according to the notification delivered by the DPRK earlier in the day.
The DPRK delegation will cross the western land border, which has divided the two countries since the 1950-53 Korean War ended in armistice, to attend the closing ceremony.
Beijing said on Thursday the momentum of dialogue that has grown during the Winter Olympics should continue and translate into interaction between Pyongyang and Washington.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang made the remarks after the ROK Foreign Ministry said it will work on channeling the peace momentum into efforts to peacefully solve the nuclear issue and try to promote talks between Washington and Pyongyang.
Pyongyang and Seoul have been engaged in a series of positive interaction and friendly cooperation concerning the Winter Olympics, which Beijing welcomes and supports, Geng said.
Geng emphasized that talks are "the only way out" for solving the stalemate in the peninsula, saying Seoul and Pyongyang "have made the precious first step" in this regard.
All relevant parties should maintain the hard-won momentum, and expand the interaction between Pyongyang and Seoul into that between Pyongyang and Washington, Geng said.
The spokesman urged parties involved to avoid taking actions that will irritate each other, try their best to maintain the relatively stable situation in the peninsula and create conditions for talks.
"We hope the Democratic People"s Republic of Korea and the United States will grasp the window of opportunity, show their sincerity and work together. We also hope the international community will jointly encourage such efforts," Geng added.
During a telephone conversation in January, ROK President Moon Jae-in and his US counterpart Donald Trump shared a possibility for the inter-Korean talks naturally leading to talks between the DPRK and the US.
The United States will send its Olympic delegation, led by Ivanka Trump, the daughter of President Donald Trump, to attend the closing ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
Ivanka Trump, also her father"s adviser, was scheduled to come to the ROK on Friday and have dinner at the night with Moon at the Blue House.
Trump allegedly had no plans to meet with the DPRK delegates to the Winter Olympics, but Moon was forecast to emphasize the importance of talks between Pyongyang and Washington during his dinner meeting with her.
Xinhua contributed to the story.