SEOUL, May 12 (Korea Bizwire) – The World Taekwondo Federation, led by South Korea, has extended an invitation to its North Korean counterpart, the International Taekwondo Federation, for the upcoming WTF World Taekwondo Championships expected to be held from June 24 to 30 in Muju, South Jeolla Province.
According to an official from the WTF, the federation’s president Choue Chung-won met last Wednesday with ITF officials including Ri Yong-son, the chief of the ITF, to discuss inter-Korean exchanges of Taekwondo demonstration teams.
The latest discussions are an extension to the landmark agreement signed in 2014, when Choue and Chang Ung, then-president of the ITF, agreed to the sports exchange, and to allow North Korean athletes not registered with the WTF to compete at WTF events.
The following year, a North Korean Taekwondo demonstration crew performed at the opening ceremony of the 2015 world championships in Chelyabinsk, Russia, becoming the first ITF athletes to appear at a WTF competition. The exchanges have since come to a halt due to rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
Things improved recently, however, for Korean athletes.
Last month, the women’s football team from South Korea went to Pyongyang for the Asian Football Confederation Women’s Asian Cup qualifiers, while the North Korean women’s hockey team visited Gangneung, Gangwon Province, for the International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championship Division II Group A.
Inter-Korean exchanges are expected to see better days under the watch of South Korea’s newly elected leader, Moon Jae-in, who is likely to take a more conciliatory approach towards North Korea.
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