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Koreas hold friendly basketball match in Pyongyang

All Headlines 16:15 July 04, 2018

PYONGYANG/SEOUL, July 4 (Joint Press Corps-Yonhap) -- South and North Korean basketball players started their first planned friendly match in Pyongyang on Wednesday amid a thaw in inter-Korean relations.

The match started at around 3:40 p.m. at Ryugyong Chung Ju-yung Gymnasium between two teams formed with a mixture of North and South Korean players. It is the first of four planned games to be held on Wednesday and Thursday, with two games each day.

Senior North Korean officials, including Ri Son-gwon, chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country, and Choe Hwi, a vice party chairman and the chief of the national sports body, came to watch the game, according to pool reports.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, however, was not seen at the gymnasium as of 3:30 p.m. It is unclear whether he will join other scheduled matches, including the men's mixed match about two hours later.

South Korea's Unification Minster Cho Myong-gyon attended the game. He is leading a 100-strong delegation, including the athletes, coaches, staff members and journalists.

This marks the fourth time in history that the two Koreas have held friendly basketball matches. The last such games were played in October 2003.

The event was arranged after high-level officials from the two Koreas met in June to discuss sports exchanges in line with the spirit of the April 27 summit, where their leaders promised to expand cross-border exchanges and contacts.

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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