North Korea to send team to South Korea

North Korea to send team to South Korea

SEOUL - Agence France-Presse
North Korea to send team to South Korea

South Korean midfielder Cho Sohyun celebrates with teammates following her goal against the US. AFP photo

North Korea is set to send its women’s team to the East Asian championships hosted by their arch-rivals South Korea next month, football officials said Friday.

It will be the first time North Korean footballers have visited the South since 2009, and comes as Pyongyang has embarked on a diplomatic offensive after months of heightened military tensions on the peninsula.

The North’s squad will compete with South Korea, China and Japan in the women’s tournament from July 20, the (South) Korea Football Association (KFA) said.

“After consultations with our association, North Korea agreed to dispatch its female team for the East Asian cup,” a KFA official told AFP.

The cup, founded in 2003, will see South Korea, Japan, China and Australia compete in the men’s edition.

There have been no cross-border sports exchanges for four years, although the two Koreas have met at major sporting events abroad. South Korea has urged the North to participate in next year’s Asian Games in the western port city of Incheon.