S. Korean taekwondo demonstration team to perform in Pyongyang

September 18, 2018

SEOUL, Sept. 18 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s taekwondo demonstration team will perform in Pyongyang later this year following an invitation from North Korea, a Seoul-based international taekwondo governing body said Tuesday.

World Taekwondo (WT) said its delegation, including president Choue Chung-won and a demonstration team, will make a five-day visit to Pyongyang starting Oct. 30 after receiving an invitation from North Korea’s International Taekwondo Federation.

WT said 50 members — including 22 in the demonstration team — will fly to Pyongyang via Beijing on the North’s Air Koryo. According to WT, the ITF sent an invitation on Aug. 24 and proposed a joint performance in Pyongyang.

The WT demonstration team will have an exclusive performance on Oct. 31 and will stage a joint performance with ITF’s demonstration team on Nov. 2.

In this file photo, taken April 2, 2018, taekwondo practitioners from South and North Korea perform together at Pyongyang Grand Theatre in Pyongyang. (Yonhap)

In this file photo, taken April 2, 2018, taekwondo practitioners from South and North Korea perform together at Pyongyang Grand Theatre in Pyongyang. (Yonhap)

It will be the first time since April that South Korean taekwondo practitioners have performed in the North Korean capital. Six months ago, WT’s demonstration team visited Pyongyang with Seoul’s art troupe and performed at Taekwondo Hall on April 1 and at Pyongyang Grand Theatre next day.

Then the North requested the South send a taekwondo demonstration team and art troupe to maintain the mood of peace and cooperation sparked by the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

Normally, foreign taekwondo practitioners also perform with the WT demonstration team, but for the Pyongyang performance, all members were South Koreans.

Before the Pyongyang performance in April, the South had a taekwondo demonstration performance in Pyongyang in September 2002.

The North’s ITF demonstration team had four performances in the South this February, including at the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Olympics.

WT chief Choue didn’t visit Pyongyang in April due to his schedule, but this time he is likely to discuss further cooperation and exchanges with the ITF.

In August 2014, WT and the ITF signed a landmark agreement in Nanjing, China, titled “Protocol of Accord,” which outlined areas of mutual cooperation. The following year, the two sides had their first-ever joint performance at the WT World Championships in Chelyabinsk, Russia.

The ITF sent its delegation to Muju last summer to honor the agreement. It was the first instance of inter-Korean sports exchange under the new Moon Jae-in administration in the South.

In this file photo, taken April 2, 2018, South Korean taekwondo practitioners perform at Pyongyang Grand Theatre in Pyongyang. (Yonhap)

In this file photo, taken April 2, 2018, South Korean taekwondo practitioners perform at Pyongyang Grand Theatre in Pyongyang. (Yonhap)

 

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