N. Korean taekwondo athletes invited to Seoul

According to Yonhap News Agency ”

North Korea has been invited to send a taekwondo demonstration team to Seoul in October, the sport’s top official said on Sept. 10, as negotiations between the two Koreas for sports exchanges gain momentum.

The Seoul-based World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) sent the invitation to the Pyongyang-led International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) on Sept. 11 and is awaiting a response, Choue Chung-won, president of WTF told Yonhap News Agency.

This is the second time Choue has invited the ITF. He wrote a similar letter to Chang Ung, the then-ITF president, in July.

“Hopefully, the collaboration between the WTF and ITF sets an example for inter-Korean sports exchange,” Choue said.

North Korea had hinted at its willingness to send a demonstration team to the 2017 World Taekwondo Championships in South Korea, according to a recent Voice of America (VOA) interview with Ri Yong-son, the newly elected head of ITF.

“We have been always ready. If the WTF sends us an invitation, we will send a team. We can also host their team. We will cooperate with each other,” Ri was quoted as saying.

If the ITF accepts the offer, Choue said he will set up a working-level meeting between the two parties at a third-party country later this month.

Choue said he recently met with Chang, who currently represents North Korea at the International Olympic Committee, in Lausanne, Switzerland, and confirmed their commitment to facilitating further exchange in the Korean traditional martial art.

South Korea first sent a demonstration team to the North in September 2002. A month later, Pyongyang sent its own down south.

In 2007, an ITF demonstration team performed in Seoul and the South Korean city of Chuncheon to congratulate the WTF’s opening in South Korea.

There has yet to be a team exchange between the WTF and ITF, however.”

Commentary

This invitation is 100% sponsored by the South Korean authorities. In case of any North Korean nuclear launch, North Korean authorities will decline the invitation and probably won’t reimburse the South Korean partner.

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