N. Korean Taekwondo team performs in Seoul among fervent local support

N. Korean Taekwondo team performs in Seoul among fervent local support

The North Korean Taekwondo demonstration team
continue their tour across the border. Thousands turned up not just to marvel at
their performance, but to show support for a positive step towards reunification. Kwon Jang-ho bring us the highlights. This is not your usual Taekwondo performance. This team is from North Korea and they are
performing in Seoul for the first time in 10 years. They were invited by the South Korean taekwondo
body, the World Taekwondo Federation, to take part in the opening and closing ceremonies
of the World Taekwondo Championships in Muju this week. But between those performances, they have
also been invited to perform on stages like this, in the heart of Seoul, alongside their
hosts. Over a thousand locals attended the show in
Seoul, giving especially boisterous support for the North Korean team and shouting chants
for unification. “We are one We are one ” “We wanted to let them know that we support
them and to show that we want unification to come soon. I also wanted to show my daughter, who came
with me that, like this, it is possible to get close to North Koreans.” “The sight of South and North Korean taekwondo
performers sharing a stage together has been a powerful one, giving South Korea hope of
further engagement between the two sides. However the North Korean delegation’s reaction
has been somewhat lukewarm.” South Korean President Moon Jae-in has suggested
cooperating on further sporting exchanges, most notably for next year’s Pyeongchang Olympics. But North Korea’s only member of the International
Olympic Committee, Chang Ung, who came with the team, has thrown doubt on whether that’ll
be possible in the time that remains. And on Tuesday evening, he went so far as
to say that political issues should not be attempted to be resolved by sport. Seoul have said they’re still hoping for a
positive response from Pyongyang. In the meantime, the World Taekwondo Federation
are also hoping to receive a reciprocal invite to Pyongyang for the North Korean body’s World
Championships in September. Kwon Jang-Ho, Arirang News.


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