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A flurry of exchanges, protests: What’s next for Koreas?

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – South Korean activists have torn photos of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, a day after the North warned such actions could derail reconciliation efforts around next month’s Winter Olympics in the South.

It seems unlikely North Korea would follow through on its threat, after going so far with its sudden outreach to the South following a year of elevated tensions over its nuclear weapons development. But the North’s bluster raises a question: Will the Olympics-related mood of rapprochement continue after the Feb. 9-25 Pyoengchang Games are over?

For now, fledgling cross-border visits continue.

A visitor walks along the beach near the Olympic Rings in Gangneung, South Korea, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. Gangneung is the site of the coastal cluster which will host ice hockey, figure skating, speedskating, short track and curling for the 2018 Olympics. The 2018 Pyeongchang Games will be held from Feb. 9 to 25. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

This week, South Koreans are on a rare trip to the North for joint pre-Olympic events while a team from the North will inspect Olympic venues across the border.

North Korean defector Park Sang-hak holds up a defaced portrait of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a press conference against the North Korea's participation in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics at the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. A team of South Korean officials travelled to North Korea on Tuesday to check logistics for joint events ahead of next month's Winter Olympics in the South, as the rivals exchanged rare visits to each other amid signs of warming ties. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

North Korean defector Park Sang-hak holds up a defaced portrait of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a press conference against the North Korea’s participation in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics at the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. A team of South Korean officials travelled to North Korea on Tuesday to check logistics for joint events ahead of next month’s Winter Olympics in the South, as the rivals exchanged rare visits to each other amid signs of warming ties. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

North Korean defectors tear portraits of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a press conference against the North Korea's participation in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics at the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. A team of South Korean officials travelled to North Korea on Tuesday to check logistics for joint events ahead of next month's Winter Olympics in the South, as the rivals exchanged rare visits to each other amid signs of warming ties. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

North Korean defectors tear portraits of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a press conference against the North Korea’s participation in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics at the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. A team of South Korean officials travelled to North Korea on Tuesday to check logistics for joint events ahead of next month’s Winter Olympics in the South, as the rivals exchanged rare visits to each other amid signs of warming ties. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

The Olympic Rings are placed at the beach before sunrise in Gangneung, South Korea, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. Gangneung is the site of the coastal cluster which will host ice hockey, figure skating, speedskating, short track and curling for the 2018 Olympics. The 2018 Pyeongchang Games will be held from Feb. 9 to 25. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

The Olympic Rings are placed at the beach before sunrise in Gangneung, South Korea, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. Gangneung is the site of the coastal cluster which will host ice hockey, figure skating, speedskating, short track and curling for the 2018 Olympics. The 2018 Pyeongchang Games will be held from Feb. 9 to 25. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

South Korean special police officers participate in an anti-terror drill during an introduction ceremony for the New Police Force in Charge of the 2018 Pyeongchang Games, in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. The Winter Olympics will be held from Feb. 9 to 25. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

South Korean special police officers participate in an anti-terror drill during an introduction ceremony for the New Police Force in Charge of the 2018 Pyeongchang Games, in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. The Winter Olympics will be held from Feb. 9 to 25. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

South Korean police officers participate in an introduction ceremony for the New Police Force in Charge of the 2018 Pyeongchang Games, in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. The Winter Olympcis will be held from Feb. 9 to 25. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

South Korean police officers participate in an introduction ceremony for the New Police Force in Charge of the 2018 Pyeongchang Games, in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. The Winter Olympcis will be held from Feb. 9 to 25. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

North Korean defector Park Sang-hak tears a portrait of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a press conference against the North Korea's participation in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics at the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. A team of South Korean officials travelled to North Korea on Tuesday to check logistics for joint events ahead of next month's Winter Olympics in the South, as the rivals exchanged rare visits to each other amid signs of warming ties. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

North Korean defector Park Sang-hak tears a portrait of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a press conference against the North Korea’s participation in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics at the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. A team of South Korean officials travelled to North Korea on Tuesday to check logistics for joint events ahead of next month’s Winter Olympics in the South, as the rivals exchanged rare visits to each other amid signs of warming ties. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

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