North and South Korean sports officials calls for lifting of sanctions affecting athletics

Posted on : 2018-08-28 17:07 KST Modified on : 2019-10-19 20:29 KST
Limits on exchanges of basic items and equipment pose major stumbling block
The inter-Korean canoeing team has asked for US sanctions to be relaxed on the athletic sector. The above photo shows the unified Korean team after winning the gold medal in the 500m dragon boat race during the 2018 Asian Games in Palembang
The inter-Korean canoeing team has asked for US sanctions to be relaxed on the athletic sector. The above photo shows the unified Korean team after winning the gold medal in the 500m dragon boat race during the 2018 Asian Games in Palembang

South and North Korean officials for the unified inter-Korean canoeing team held a press conference calling for the loosening of US and UN sanctions affecting sports exchange.

“What I wish to say is that the US and UN continue to intensify sanctions against the desires of the people of world, who desire peace and goodwill,” North Korean Canoe Federation secretary general Kim Kwang-chol said at an inter-Korean canoeing team press conference on Aug. 27 at the Jakabaring Sports City rowing, canoeing, and regatta course in Palembang, one of the host cities for the current Asian Games in Indonesia.

“For that reason, I hope they will quickly put an end to their sanctions on our athletic sector,” he added. Kim is serving both as leader of the unified team and North Korean manager for the unified women’s dragon boat team.

Previously, Kim Yong-bin, head of South Korea’s Korea Canoe Federation (KCF), argued, “Now that we have begun inter-Korean exchanges, there are too many limits on things like basic exchanges of items and sharing of minor equipment.”

“Hopefully, there will be some loosening in sports exchange so that we can at least wear the same clothes and use the same equipment,” Kim said.

The inter-Korean canoeing team is also planning to compete in the upcoming Dragon Boat World Championships at Lake Lanier, Georgia, in September. Federation officials on both sides have reached an agreement and obtained consent from the International Canoe Federation (ICF), a KCF source said. One potential stumbling block is whether US sanctions on North Korea will allow for the issuance of visas for the North Korean athletes to enter the country.

By Lee Chan-young, staff reporter

Please direct comments or questions to [english@hani.co.kr]

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