North Korea told South Korea on Thursday that leader Kim Jong Un's younger sister, Kim Yo Jong, and her high-level delegation to the Pyeongchang Winter Games will arrive in South Korea on Friday by air, the South's Unification Ministry said.

The delegation, led by the North's ceremonial leader Kim Jong Nam, will arrive at Incheon International Airport, near Seoul, around 1:30 p.m., the ministry said.

The officials are making a three-day visit to the South to attend the Olympics' opening ceremony on Friday. Roughly two dozen North Korean athletes are competing in such categories as women's ice hockey, and figure and short-track skating.

Kim Yo Yong is considered one of the closest aides to her brother. North Korea had previously referred to her as the first vice director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department of the Workers' Party. But on Wednesday the North referred to her as the first vice chairman of the Central Committee of the ruling party.

After arriving at Incheon, the plane will return to the North and come back to the airport on Sunday to pick up the delegation, according to the ministry.

Also Thursday, members of the North Korean Olympic team participating in the games attended a welcome ceremony at the athletes' village in Gangneung, eastern South Korea.

Among the other North Korean participants were costume-clad members of a cheering squad who had crossed the land border into the South the previous day.

As a throng of reporters from at home and abroad looked on, the band from the squad played some music, including a pop tune that was composed by a North Korean and is also well-known in the South.

The North has sent a contingent of athletes and coaches to the Winter Olympics. North and South Korea will march together under one flag at Friday's opening ceremony and field a unified women's ice hockey team.

The North has also sent an art troupe and a taekwondo demonstration team to the South. The 140-member Samjiyon art troupe will hold concerts in Gangneung later Thursday and in Seoul on Sunday to celebrate the games, which will run through Feb. 25.

The North Korean dispatch of athletes to the Olympics and others for related activities comes after Kim Jong Un struck a conciliatory tone on ties with the South in his New Year's address.