The Daily Manila Shimbun


S. Korean Basketball Players Arrive in Pyongyang

July 3, 2018

Seoul- South Korean athletes arrived in Pyongyang Tuesday to take part in inter-Korean friendly basketball matches.

The matches will be held as part of sports exchange activities between the two Koreas.

The 50 male and female basketball players are part of a delegation of about 100 South Korean people, led by Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon.

The delegation, also including support personnel and reporters, arrived in the North Korean capital aboard two South Korean military transport planes.

A total of four basketball matches are scheduled to take place on Wednesday and Thursday, including games between teams comprised of a mixture of South and North Korean athletes.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, a fan of basketball, is expected to watch the games. Kim and Cho may hold talks on the sidelines of the event.

According to South Korea's Yonhap News Agency and others, Cho told reporters before his departure that he hopes the event will become an opportunity to foster peace in the Korean Peninsula.

An official of South Korea's Unification Ministry said it once considered the use of commercial aircraft for the delegation's trip to North Korea, but opted to use air force planes by taking into account international sanctions on North Korea.

The basketball matches were proposed by Kim during a meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in April. The dates for the event were determined at discussions on sports exchange activities between the two Koreas in June. Jiji Press