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Seoul's plan for taekwondo demonstration in N.K. appears to have fallen through

All Headlines 11:34 September 11, 2017

SEOUL, Sept. 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's plan to send a taekwondo demonstration team to North Korea-led championships in Pyongyang seems to have failed amid heightened tensions, Seoul's unification ministry said Monday.

The Seoul-based World Taekwondo (WT) has been seeking to send its demonstration team to the North Korea-led International Taekwondo Federation's championships slated for Sept. 15-21 for performances at the opening ceremony.

But the North's organizer reportedly notified the South Korean body that it is not proper to send the demonstration team, given the current security situation.

"The ITF has yet to send its official stance, but the plan appears to have fallen through, given various factors," Baik Tae-hyun, ministry spokesman, told a regular press briefing.

There are two international bodies of taekwondo -- the WT and the ITF. Currently, as the South Korea-led WT is the only global body sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the ITF is not able to compete in the Olympics.

In June, the ITF brought its demonstration team to South Korea for the WT-led World Taekwondo Championships in Muju, some 240 kilometers south of Seoul.

Seoul granted North Koreans' visit to the South as it seeks to promote civilian inter-Korean exchanges in the hopes that sports exchanges can help improve strained inter-Korean ties.

This photo carried by North Korea's news agency KCNA on Aug. 21, 2017, shows the Taekwondo Hall, whose remodeling North Korea has recently completed. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)


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