The majority of the South Korean art troupe and taekwondo performers scheduled to give performances in Pyongyang ahead of a historic inter-Korean summit will head to North Korea on Saturday.
The 120-member group led by Culture, Sports and Tourism Minister Do Jong-whan will depart Seoul's Gimpo International Airport at 10:30 a.m. aboard a chartered civilian flight. They will travel via a direct air route between Seoul and Pyongyang over the Yellow Sea.
The group, including celebrated K-pop artists such as Cho Yong-pil, Red Velvet and Seohyun, is part of the 190-strong South Korean delegation set to visit North Korea for rare artistic performances on Sunday and Tuesday.
A 70-member technical crew flew into the North on Thursday to prepare the stages ahead of the two concerts in Pyongyang.
Also in the group departing Saturday are staff members, taekwondo performers, journalists and government officials tasked with supporting the performers.
The performances will be the first by South Korean artists in the North since 2005, when Cho Yong-pil had a solo concert at the Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Gymnasium.
Eleven Korean acts are in the lineup of the concerts, which are together titled "Spring Comes": Cho Yong-pil, Lee Sun-hee, Choi Jin-hee, Yoon Do-hyun, Baek Ji-young, Red Velvet, Jungin, Seohyun, Ali, Kang San-eh and Kim Kwang-min.
They will perform at the 1,500-seat East Pyongyang Grand Theater on Sunday for two hours starting 5:30 p.m. (South Korean time) and take part in a joint concert with North Korean artists for two hours on Tuesday afternoon at the 12,000-seat Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Gymnasium. The shows will be taped and edited by South Korea's public broadcaster MBC to be made into a joint TV program for both countries.
The South Korean delegation will return home Tuesday night. (Yonhap)