July 18, 2014 11:35
North and South Korea failed to reach agreement on Thursday about Pyongyang's plan to dispatch athletes and cheerleaders to the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon in September.
The North Korean delegation, in a characteristic move, stormed out of the meeting room.
The biggest point of contention was apparently the number of the athletes and cheerleaders Pyongyang wanted to send. The North said it would send 350 athletes and 350 cheerleaders and asked the South to provide accommodation, although it had originally said it would send around 150 athletes.
The athletes were to fly and the cheerleaders to take a train, and the North also wanted to anchor a ferry in Incheon to house the cheerleaders during their stay.
Seoul responded by offering accommodation "according to international practice."
A government official said, "At past international sporting events, it was customary to provide all accommodation free of charge for the North Koreans, but we decided to adhere to international practice this time. And under Olympic Council of Asia regulations, each country is responsible for the expenses incurred by its athletes and cheering squads, although accommodation subsidies are provided for underdeveloped countries that are sending a small group of athletes.
This was clearly not what the North wanted to hear.
"When we asked the North how many athletes were coming and how many members of the cheering squad were musicians, the North accused us of having 'problems with our attitude’ and unilaterally called off the meeting," the official added.
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com