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Unification ministry OKs N. Korean taekwondo demo team's visit to country

2017/06/19 19:39

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SEOUL, June 19 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's unification ministry said Monday it approved a request for a visit to the country by the North's taekwondo demonstration team, who will be participating at a world taekwondo championship in a southern province later this month.

The group of 32 North Koreans who gained approval includes Ri Yong-son, who currently heads the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF); Chang Ung, former ITF chief and the North's only International Olympic Committee (IOC) member; and other performers, according to the Ministry of Unification.

The North Korean team is scheduled to arrive in South Korea via Beijing on Friday and leave the country on July 1.

It is the first time for an ITF team to visit South Korea in nearly a decade. Their visit also marks the first inter-Korean sports exchange since the liberal Moon Jae-in government took office in May.

The North Korea-led ITF will bring a demonstration team to Korea for the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) World Taekwondo Championships in Muju, some 240 kilometers south of Seoul, starting June 24.

They will perform at the opening and closing ceremonies of the championships and also at Kukkiwon, the world taekwondo headquarters in Seoul, later that week.

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