Taekwondo Team Going to N. Korea
Sep. 11, 2002
%mlink(STRY:; PHOTO:; AUDIO:%)
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) _ South Korea will send a taekwondo demonstration team to North Korea this weekend as part of efforts to boost sports exchanges between the divided countries, South Korean officials said Wednesday.
As part of a broad political accord reached in August, the Koreas agreed to exchange taekwondo demonstration teams, with the South sending a team in September and the North in October.
On Monday, North Korea suggested that the South Korean team make a four-day visit starting on Sunday. South Korea accepted the proposal on Wednesday.
Kim Moo-chun, an official at South Korea's Taekwondo Association, said 35 players and 15 officials and support personnel will go to North Korea.
He said the South Korean delegation's itinerary and other details will be decided after it arrives in Pyongyang, the North's capital.
Taekwondo is a Korean self-defense martial art in which players score points with kicks and punches.
An itinerary proposed by North Korea included a visit to a politically sensitive monument, the ``Juche'' tower in the North's capital. The tower is dedicated to the reclusive, communist country's ideological governing philosophy, dubbed ``juche,'' or self-reliance.
South Korean authorities have advised people to avoid visiting political or ideological places or events during their trips to the North.
After months of tension, the two Koreas have recently launched a host of fresh contacts aimed at building reconciliation on their divided peninsula. The Koreas were divided in 1945.
Last week, the Koreas played to a scoreless draw in a friendly soccer match in Seoul.