Tensions are high between the two Koreas,
but sporting events have remained immune from politics, at least for now. Teams from South and North Korea are facing
off in two matches this week — ice hockey in South Korea’s Gangwon-do Province… and
football in Pyongyang. Kwon Jang-ho has the details. The puck was dropped in the Women’s Ice Hockey
World Championship in South Korea on Sunday. Six teams from around the world are facing
off against each other over the next week in a test event to prepare for the Pyeongchang
Winter Olympics next year, but focus has been high on the arrival of the North Korean team. It’s the first time in three years that North
Korean athletes have stepped foot on South Korean soil. And for the first match against Australia,
more than 300 locals came to cheer them on, waving signs and placards for a unified Korea. Despite the current high tension on the peninsula,
and losing the match 2-1, the North Koreans showed their appreciation to the crowd after
the match with a bow and a wave. On Thursday, they’ll face South Korea, who
won their first match against Slovenia in a 5-1 rout. Then a day later, on the other side of the
inter-Korean border, there’ll be another South-North sporting clash. The women’s football teams will face each
other in Pyongyang as part of the Asian Cup qualifying tournament. It will be the first football match in 27
years between the two countries to take place inside the regime. But with the Winter Olympics coming to South
Korea next year, more inter-Korean sporting contests could be on the way. An official from the North Korean ice hockey
delegation reportedly told the governor of Gangwon province… that Pyongyang will try
to send as many athletes as possible to next year’s Games. Seoul confirmed that as long as they meet
the Olympic qualification requirements there was no reason to deny their participation. “There are no stipulations in the UN sanctions
or any other country’s sanctions that forbids North Korea from taking part in international
sporting events. If North Korea applies to take part in events
taking place in South Korea then we plan to follow the rules and regulations and allow
it.” , . But with Pyongyang keeping up its provocations,
and rumors of a possible nuclear test in the works, sporting diplomacy will likely be put
to the test. Kwon Jang-ho, Arirang News.

Ice-hockey championships kicks-off anticipation towards inter-Korean sporting clashes
Tagged on:                                                     

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *