June 19, 2013 11:46
The government has invited North Korean athletes and cheerleaders to participate in the 2014 Asian Games in the western port city of Incheon.
Park Jong-gil, the second vice minister of culture, sports and tourism, told reporters, "We asked North Korea to participate some two months ago via the Olympic Council of Asia." He added, "The North has yet to make any response, but I expect to hear good news from Pyongyang soon."
In a phone interview with the Chosun Ilbo, Park said, "Through the OCA, which has ties to North Korea, we are continuing to ask the North to send athletes and supporters to the Asian Games in Incheon." Park added Seoul could even consider having athletes from both sides march in together at the opening ceremony." He said the aim is to use sports diplomacy to thaw chilled inter-Korean relations.
Meanwhile, the Korean Basketball League is contacting North Korea to invite the North's men's basketball team to a friendly match in August.
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