North Korea says it will send athletes to Asian Games in South Korea

Asian Games
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North Korea will enter athletes in the Asian Games in South Korea in September, according to reports citing North Korea’s state-run news agency.

The Asian Games, a multi-sport event featuring Summer Olympic disciplines held every four years, will be in Incheon, South Korea, from Sept. 19-Oct. 4. Organizers in Incheon had hoped North Korea would participate, and North Korea said earlier this year its soccer teams would compete.

“We welcome North Korea’s participation … and hope it will provide an opportunity for the two Koreas to boost reconciliation,” Incheon organizers said in a statement, according to Agence France-Presse.

North Korea and South Korea’s tensions have long been apparent in the Olympic arena.

In September, South Koreans competed at an international sporting event in North Korea for the first time at a weightlifting meet. That came after South Korea rejected a North Korean offer to host some of the 2018 Olympic skiing events. The 2018 Olympics will be in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Previously, North Korea boycotted the Seoul 1988 Olympics, but the nations marched together under one flag at the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Opening Ceremonies in Sydney and Athens. North Korea also competed in the 2002 Asian Games in Busan, South Korea.

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