Kim Jong-un Gives Basketball Diplomacy a Miss

  • By Kim Myong-song

    July 06, 2018 10:06

    North Korean leader Kim jong-un missed out on a series of basketball friendlies with South Korea in Pyongyang on Wednesday and Thursday, apparently because he was busy tearing through mismanaged factories in the provinces.

    Kim is a basketball fan and had proposed the exchange, but in the end he sent his right-hand man Kim Yong-chol.

    Kim Yong-chol told Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon, who accompanied the South Korean male and female basketballers, that the leader "is currently giving on-the-spot guidance," and sent him instead. 

    Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon (left) shakes hands with North Korea's Kim Yong-chol in Pyongyang on Thursday.

    Kim Jong-un was also probably busy preparing for the more momentous visit of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday.

    But Cho told reporters after meeting Kim Yong-chol, "We talked about the need for high-level meetings to speed up dialogue and achieve concrete results."

    Meanwhile, South Korean reporters who came along said North Korean officials asked them whether US$200 a month would be enough to rent a room in South Korea. They also inquired about President Moon Jae-in's health after he was laid out with a severe cold last week.

    One North Korean official who accompanied Kim even showed interest in the "Me Too" movement.

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