N.Korea Suggests Regional Basketball Tournament

North Korea last month proposed to the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union an international basketball tournament involving both Koreas, China, and Japan.

An informed source on Friday said North Korean state broadcaster KRT proposed to the ABU that they jointly host a basketball tournament among national players from the four countries.

It seems Pyongyang made the proposal because North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is keen on basketball, as evidenced by his invitation to former U.S. basketball superstar Dennis Rodman and the Harlem Globetrotters to Pyongyang in March, the source added.

The ABU has been led by since 2012 by Kim In-kyu, the former president of KBS in Seoul. Asked by the Chosun Ilbo about Pyongyang's proposal, a KBS staffer seconded to the ABU Secretariat in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, said, "I can't give you details. But it's true that there were talks between the ABU and KRT. But no progress has been made in this regard."

He added that Kim In-kyu met KRT chairman Cha Sung-su in Pyongyang last year as they were discussing the price of broadcasting rights for the London Olympics for Pyongyang. "Since then, the ABU has been in contact with KRT once in a while."

During the London Olympics, KRT sent a crew of six to London for the first time in North Korea's history.

Established in 1964, the ABU is an international agency consisting of broadcasters in the Asia-Pacific region that promotes cooperation between members.

englishnews@chosun.com / May 27, 2013 12:09 KST