World / Asia-Pacific

No agreement on DPRK's participation in Asian Games

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-07-17 19:16

SEOUL-- The Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) failed to reach any agreement Thursday during working-level talks to discuss the DPRK's participation in the ROK-hosted Asian Games.

No agreement on DPRK's participation in Asian Games

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Three-member delegations from both sides held the meeting from 10 am at the truce village of Panmunjom to talk about issues related to the participation of DPRK athletes and cheerleaders in the Incheon Asian Games.

Pyongyang said in late May that it would send about 150 athletes and coaches along with a large cheering squad to the upcoming Asian Games, which will be held in ROK's western port city of Incheon from Sept 19 to Oct 4.

The delegations discussed a number of issues, including how to transport the large DPRK sports delegation and who will pay the cost for the delegation's stay here, but they failed to narrow differences.

The two sides also failed to agree on the date for the next round of talks to discuss the multisport event.

It was the first inter-Korean meeting for a sports event since February 2008 when the two Koreas talked about a joint cheering squad for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

The ROK delegation spoke negatively of creating a united team for some sports events and forming a joint cheering team. The South side also made a pessimistic response to the DRPK' s request to pay for its sports delegation, according to local media reports.

The ROK, however, reportedly planned to allow DPRK athletes and cheerleaders to go south to Incheon by air and sea. When the DPRK joined the 2002 Busan Asian Games, athletes used a chartered plane while cheerleaders took a ferry called Mangyeongbong.

The Incheon Asian Games will be the third to be hosted by ROK following the 1986 competition in Seoul and the 2002 Asiad in Busan. The DPRK joined the games in 2002, but not the 1986 event.

The two Koreas marched together under a unified national flag at the opening ceremonies of the 2000 and 2004 Summer Olympics and also at the 2006 Winter Olympics and the 2007 Asian Winter Games. There has been no such joint march since then.

It will also be the first dispatch of the DPRK's cheering contingent since 2005 when Pyongyang sent hundreds of cheerleaders to ROK for the Asian Athletics Championships in Incheon. The DPRK sent them to the ROK for the 2002 Busan Asian Games and 2003 Daegu Summer Universiade.

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