South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon, right, shakes hands with North Korean Vice Sports Minister Won Kil U during a meeting at Pyongyang Airport in Pyongyang, North Korea, Tuesday, July 3, 2018. (Korea Pool via AP)

South Korean basketball players arrive for games in North

South Korean basketball teams and officials arrived on Tuesday to take part in the inter-Korean basketball match in Pyongyang.

Dozens of South Korean basketball players arrived in North Korea’s capital on Tuesday for a series of games the two Koreas hope will foster a spirit of detente generated by the recent North-South summit meetings.

The 50 players arrived in Pyongyang on two military aircraft.

South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon headed the delegation, which included 20 government officials and support staff and dozens of South Korean reporters.

North Korea’s deputy sports minister, Won Kil U, led the North’s welcoming party.

The South Korean male and female basketball players are expected to play four matches with North Koreans on Wednesday and Thursday. It was not clear whether North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would attend any of the games, but he did make a prominent appearance at a concert put on by South Korean musicians in Pyongyang earlier this year.

The exchanges are the latest result of a diplomatic outreach to the South that Kim announced during his annual New Year’s speech. That led to the North’s participation in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February and two summits with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

Kim has also had three summits with China’s leader and met with U.S. President Donald Trump last month in Singapore.

Cho, the South Korean unification minister, said he felt “deeply moved” upon arrival because he could sense the change in relations in the past few months.

Related: North Korea commits to ‘complete denuclearization’

Related: US plans for dismantling NKorea nukes may face resistance

Basketball diplomacy has something of a history in North Korea.

Basketball made international headlines from Pyongyang when former NBA player Dennis Rodman arranged a game there in 2014 for Kim’s birthday.

South Korea’s Hyundai company built a basketball stadium in Pyongyang during the “Sunshine Period” of engagement between the North and South and a joint game was played there in 2003.

Two rounds of inter-Korean basketball games were held before that, in 1999.

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

UBC Okanagan offers its expertise to struggling parents

Pilot walk-in clinic open to the public

Kelowna’s definitive Christmas market list

We’ve prepared a list of every market in the Central Okanagan

Henrik and Daniel Sedin among 2019 BC Sports Hall of Fame inductees

The Canucks’ greats, among others, will be formally inducted in May 2019

BC Tree Fruits receives new public AED

The Kelowna Royal Lepage Big Bike team raised $7,190 for Heart&Stroke

VIDEO: Carport fire sets apartment building aflame

Kelowna firefighters were called to the 1900 block of Pandosy Street about 4 a.m.

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Man accused of smuggling drugs across Osoyoos border still waiting for arraignment

Armando Esparza-Ochoa was charged on Sept. 1 for importing/exporting a controlled substance

Gear worth thousands stolen from Merritt search and rescue team

Thieves broke into a storage facility twice in two days to steal gear

Threat of extremism posed by proportional representation overstated: academics

As B.C. voters decide on electoral reform, the Vote No side is cautioning that the system would allow extremists to be elected

What now for Calgary, Canada and Olympic Games after 2026 rejection?

Calgary, along with the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and Whistler, B.C., made Canada a player in the international sport community

Sex-misconduct survey excludes vulnerable military members: Survivors’ group

But It’s Just 700 says recent research has shown young military members and those on training are among those most at risk for sexual violence

Many child killers have been placed in Indigenous healing lodges according to stats

As of mid-September, there were 11 offenders in healing lodges who had been convicted of first- or second-degree murder of a minor

Expect no quick end to Canada-wide cannabis shortages, producers warn

Provinces including British Columbia, Alberta have all reported varying degrees of shortages

Straight from Dehart

Zombie dodgeball and Fat Cat in this week’s musings

Most Read