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NKorea footballers to attend Asian Games in SKorea

January 20, 2014

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea said Monday it will take part in men’s and women’s football competition at this year’s Asian Games to be held in rival South Korea.

Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency disclosed the plans in a dispatch listing international football competitions the country plans to participate in this year.

It’s not still clear if North Korea will take part in the whole Asian Games to be held in Incheon, west of Seoul, from September to October.

Incheon Mayor Song Young-gil welcomed North Korea’s announcement, saying he hopes the North will take part in all other sports events at the Games, according to his office.

North Korea boycotted the 1986 Asian Games and the 1988 Summer Olympics, both held in Seoul, but the country attended the 2002 Asian Games in the southeastern South Korean city of Busan.

Ties between the divided Koreas remain strained since North Korea raised tension last spring with repeated threats to launch nuclear wars, though it has been recently seeking better ties with the outside world. North Korea last week proposed a series of steps to ease the tensions, but South Korea rejected them, saying the country must first show sincerity with actions.

The Korean Peninsula officially remains at war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

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