Koreas engage in basketball diplomacy

South Korean sports delegation heads to North Korea
SEOUL: A 100-member delegation of South Korean athletes, officials and journalists traveled to North Korea Tuesday, ahead of the first inter-Korean basketball games for 15 years.
Initially proposed during April’s summit between the two nations’ leaders, Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un, follow-up talks led to an agreement to hold four friendly matches in Pyongyang on Wednesday and Thursday.
The South’s delegation — led by Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon and made up of both male and female basketball players — flew to the North via a pair of military aircraft around 10 a.m. (0100GMT).
Direct flights between the Koreas are rare due to border travel restrictions following decades of tensions.
North Korean Chairman Kim is known to be a big basketball fan.
Women’s basketball is also one of three sports in which the Koreas will field joint teams at next month’s Asian Games in Indonesia.
It is the latest example of sports diplomacy influencing inter-Korean ties after the two sides joined forces in women’s ice hockey during February’s Winter Olympics.–AA

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