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

Young mother dies in Highway 3 semi collision

According to friends the victim was on her way to work, to a job she started earlier in the week

RV lifestyle comes to the Okanagan

BC Interior RV Show returns to Penticton for the eighth year

‘Cowardly acts’ towards homeless continue in Osoyoos

RCMP confirm they are investigating two incidents of assault on a homeless person

Turning an Okanagan hospital’s medical waste into art

Safe recycled waste materials are being used by local artists to create art

Jail sentence for South Okanagan bank robber with ties to Surrey

The Surrey man convicted of the 2017 robbery of the Penticton Valley First sentenced to seven years

VIDEO: The ‘most cosmopolitan’ of butterflies could migrate to B.C.

The painted lady butterfly will likely arrive this summer from Southern California

SPCA seizes 54 animals from Vernon property

Animals weren’t receiving adequate care

West Kelowna acquires land for Rose Valley Water Treatment Plant

The city has acquired 24 acres on Bartley Road

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

Indecent caller handed 18-month conditional sentence

Vancouver Island man pleaded guilty to making indecent phone and video calls to women across B.C.

Sources say Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould’s conservative pick for high court

Wilson-Raybould said Monday “there was no conflict between the PM and myself”

First Nations public art piece stolen in Nanaimo

Spindle Whorl went missing over the weekend, according to Nanaimo RCMP

Father-son duo at B.C. Children’s Hospital helps new dads fight depression

The pair teamed up to introduce the only known research-based mindfulness workshop for new dads

Mexican restaurant in B.C. told to take down Mexican flag

General manager of Primo’s Mexican Grill in White Rock: ‘I’ve never heard of anything like this’

Most Read