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South, North Koreans celebrate 25 years of taekwondo at Olympics
Posted : 2019-04-12 14:57
Updated : 2019-04-12 16:28
World Taekwondo President Choue Chung-won, right, International Taekwondo Federation President Ri Yong-son, left, and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach after the two organization's joint ceremony at Lausanne, Switzerland, Friday (KST). Courtesy of World Taekwondo
Athletes from the two global taekwondo governing bodies after their special performance. Courtesy of World Taekwondo
By Jung Min-ho
Taekwondo athletes from South and North Koreas staged a joint performance at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, Friday (KST), to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the martial art becoming an Olympic sport.
The World Taekwondo (WT), under the leadership of South Korean Choue Chung-won, and the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF), led by North Korean Ri Yong-son, gave a joint demonstration in front of more than 100 people, including International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach.
According to WT, the event was held also in recognition of the sport's other contributions to the Olympic Movement, including innovative rule changes and the promotion of human rights and peace-building initiatives over the past 25 years.
Since the 103rd IOC Congress in Paris voted to include taekwondo in the 2000 Sydney Games, it has appeared at every Olympics.
[Taekwondo] [Joint Korean] [Olympics]
Pyongyang Marathon 2019
A film from Koryo Tours
North Korea: Tourists swell Pyongyang marathon turnout
7 April 2019
Twice the number of foreign runners are competing in Sunday's marathon in the North Korean capital Pyongyang compared to last year, tour firms say.
About 950 westerners entered the annual race, up from 450 in 2018.
Political tensions have eased in recent months leading to an increase in tourism, although the regime remains one of the world's most oppressive.
A US travel ban to North Korea is still in place following the death of a student in 2017.
Why would visitors want to run a marathon in North Korea?
The marathon is part of the celebrations marking the birth of the founder of North Korea, Kim Il Sung, in 1912.
Tourists run through the strictly controlled capital city, cheered on by North Koreans lining the streets.
Image caption A foreign competitor talks to a child on the roadside in Pyongyang
The event attracts so-called marathon chasers - tourists who run different races across the world.
Jasmine Barrett, an Australian running the marathon for the third time, said she kept coming back "to see the smiles on the children's faces".
"I'd definitely recommend it to others because it's a great way to see the city and the people who live there," she told AFP news agency.
There were no American runners due to the tourist ban following the death of US student Otto Warmbier two years ago. He was detained in 2015 after allegedly stealing a propaganda sign.
Colin Crooks, the British ambassador to North Korea, was one of the runners taking part. He tweeted that the "atmosphere in the stadium was great".
Skip Twitter post by @ColinCrooks1
#Pyongyang Marathon this morning! Preparing to run in the 10k with other members of Team UK. Atmosphere in the stadium was great #NorthKorea #britishembassy pic.twitter.com/OURvpbB9zT
? Colin Crooks (@ColinCrooks1) April 7, 2019
Scenes along the route of this morning?s #Pyongyang Marathon. Local citizens cheering the runners. Refreshments stations, #NorthKorea style pic.twitter.com/5sCqFCysAm
? Colin Crooks (@ColinCrooks1) April 7, 2019
[Marathon] [Media] [Propaganda] [BBC]
'Surreal' Pyongyang marathon in spotlight as tensions ease
Posted : 2019-04-08 15:32
Updated : 2019-04-08 15:34
North Korea's Pyongyang marathon was run on Sunday (April 7) amid easing of tensions on the Korean peninsula.
Athletes run through the capital of the reclusive state in the Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon, as the race is officially known.
Nearly 1,000 foreigners, several hundred more than last year, signed up in the sixth year foreign runners have been allowed to compete, according to officials, as tensions between North Korea and South Korea have eased since 2018.
A video provided by North Korea's official news agency KCNA, which Reuters cannot independently verify, showed North Korean and foreign runners starting the race as thousands cheered in the Kim Il Sung Stadium.
KCNA said the event included a full marathon, a half-marathon and 10km and 5km runs. According to the IAAF, the first three in the men's full marathon were from North Korea, the winner being named as Ri Kang Bom, who clocked two hours 12 mins 53 seconds.
Among the competitors were two Olympians, retired Swiss freestyle skier Mirjam Jaeger, a 2014 Sochi Olympic participant, and British snowboarder Aimee Fuller, who took part in the 2014 and 2018 winter Olympics.
Running alongside competitors from the host country were entrants from China, Morocco and Ethiopia. (Reuters)
Tours to DPRK sold out at the Int?l Travel Mart
VietNamNet Bridge ? The Viet Nam International Travel Mart (VITM) wrapped on Saturday, with travel firms hailing its success.
Int?l Travel Mart, tours to DPRK sold out, Vietnam economy, Vietnamnet bridge, English news about Vietnam, Vietnam news, news about Vietnam, English news, Vietnamnet news, latest news on Vietnam, Vietnam
A troupe performs xoan (spring) singing originated from Phu Tho Province in the framework of VITM.
The presence of North Korea at the event triggered interest among the visitors and the media.
?During the four-day event, we had 500 tourists registering to visit the DPRK,? said Nguyen Cong Hoan, director of HanoiRedtours Company.
?Tours to DPRK from April to September are full. It?s an unexpected success for us.?
Hoan said the Trump-Kim Summit and Chairman Kim Jong-un?s State visit to Vietnam had boosted tourism to the DPRK.
To meet the increasing demand, Vietnamese tour companies have signed an agreement with the DPRK International Tourism Company (KITC), a leading tour operator under the DPRK National Tourism Administration.
A charter flight between Hanoi and Pyongyang will be launched in June following a MoU signed between KITC and Hanoitourist Company.
Phung Quang Thang, director of the company, said the tour would cost about VND30 million ($1,500) for a five-day trip.
?Currently, tours to the DPRK transit in China, costing a lot of time and money.?
?With the charter flight, tourists will save time on transit,? said Thang.
Pyongyang's Air Koryo boosts flights to Beijing
Posted : 2019-04-01 13:36
Updated : 2019-04-01 15:31
North Korea's flag carrier Air Koryo has increased the number of flights between Pyongyang and Beijing in apparent anticipation of a rise in exchanges amid their improving bilateral relations, a source said Monday.
Air Koryo will fly between the capitals of the allies five times a week starting in April, up from the previous three flights a week, according to the source. The Pyongyang-Beijing direct flights will be available every day except Wednesdays and Sundays.
The increase appears aimed at meeting an expected rise in the number of tourists and other cross-border exchanges in state and civilian sectors as the two countries mark the 70th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties this year.
In a sign of the improvement in bilateral relations, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has visited China four times since last year for talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, including his latest trip in January this year.
In September, North Korea resumed flights between Pyongyang and the Chinese city of Dalian after a hiatus that had lasted years. (Yonhap)
[[Air Koryo] [Aviation] [Tourism]
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2 Koreas to Make Joint Bid for 2023 Women's World Cup
March 20, 2019 10:47
South Korea has expressed its intention to jointly bid with North Korea to host the 2023 Women's World Cup, FIFA said on Tuesday.
According to the Korea Football Association, the idea was proposed by FIFA President Gianni Infantino. "Although we haven't talked with North Korea about that yet, we expect some degree of cooperation from FIFA on the matter," said an official at the KFA said.
Eight other countries -- Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Japan, New Zealand and South Africa -- have expressed their interest in hosting the tournament.
The host country will be decided in March next year.
[Football] [Joint Korean]
North Korea calls for 'second phase' construction in Samjiyon County
SEOUL, March 18 (UPI) -- The Kim Jong Un regime is calling for a "phase two" in the development of Samjiyon County, an area of North Korea he visited three times in 2018.
Pyongyang's Workers' Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun said Tuesday the construction at Samjiyon is "expanding" in the "spirit of the revolution." North Korea continues to stress a socialist method of economic planning.
"The commanders of the 216th Division, military builders, storm troopers are expanding the second phase of Samjiyon construction with their [capacity] for self-regeneration, a spirit of revolution based on the overcoming of hardship," the Rodong said.
Kim has inspected the area adjacent to Mount Paektu. His visit in October 2018 was publicized through more than 40 photographs of him at the snow-covered site. He also visited Samjiyon in July and October to provide "field guidance," according to state media.
The North Korean leader also mentioned the area in his New Year's address. He had said Samjiyon County should be transformed into a "mountain culture city" that is also an example of a "socialist utopia." Samjiyon and North Korea's Wonsan-Kalma tourist zone have been prioritized in Kim's plan to rebuild North Korea.
North Korea hopes to woo Spanish tourists with charm offensive
Presentation in Madrid aims to dispel ?myth? of closed country, highlighting speedy visa approval
Madrid 16 JUN 2017 - 14:51 CEST
North Korea launched a charm offensive in the Spanish capital on Thursday, with the normally secretive state opening the doors of its embassy in Madrid to journalists, who had been invited to a presentation of the country?s plans to develop a tourism industry, and with it, bring in much-needed foreign currency.
Inter-Korean Table Tennis Team Unlikely at 2020 Olympics
By Lee Tae-dong
March 05, 2019 12:42
The two Koreas will not be able to field a joint team in table tennis in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
The Korea Table Tennis Association sounded out the opinions of South Korean players and found that they were overwhelmingly against the idea because their North Korean counterparts are not nearly as good and could ruin their chances.
International Olympic Committee officials met with sports representatives from North and South Korea in Lausanne, Switzerland last month and the two Koreas agreed to field unified teams in women's basketball, women's hockey, judo and rowing, with a chance to add more disciplines.
But a majority of South Korean table tennis players opposed a unified team if they had to cede their berths in doubles matches to their North Korean counterparts.
[Olympics20] [Joint Korean]
One Korea Tour | From Mount Paektu to Mount Halla
19 nights in North Korea,
South Korea, and China
Travel the length of the Korean Peninsula ? from Mt. Paektu
to Mt. Halla, visit Pyongyang and Seoul, experience the DMZ
from both sides, and compare Korean history, culture, and
society in the DPRK and ROK.
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Run the Pyongyang Marathon April 7, 2019
Pyongyang?s annual marathon is your chance to run the streets of the capital along with hundreds of locals and visitors ? the most amazing race of your life, exclusively available from Koryo!
The Pyongyang International Marathon, also known as the Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon, has been open to amateur runners since 2014. You can run the 5k, 10k, Half Marathon or Full Marathon. The race is an International Associations of Athletic Federations (IAAF) Bronze Label road race with Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) certification. Koryo Tours is the exclusive travel partner of the Pyongyang Marathon.
N.Korea's Doping Taint Threatens Inter-Korean Olympic Teams
February 18, 2019 13:58
The International Olympic Committee is struggling to resolve North Korea's recent designation as a "non-compliant" nation by the World Anti-Doping Agency, which threatens inter-Korean cooperation in the next Summer Olympics.
IOC President Thomas Bach met Friday with South Korean Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Do Jong-whan and his North Korean counterpart Kim Il-gukat at IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, and said all members of unified Korean sports teams for the Tokyo Olympics will undergo drug testing.
But he said Kim "has expressed full commitment of [North Korea] to remedy this situation as soon as possible."
In a separate statement, the IOC said it will "explore the possibility with WADA and other parties of providing additional support" to the North in its anti-doping efforts.
Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Do Jong-whan (left) poses with his North Korean counterpart Kim Il-guk (right) and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach at IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland on Friday. /Xinhua-Yonhap
A country deemed non-compliant with WADA regulations cannot take part in or host any international sports competitions hosted or organized by WADA.
Returning home Sunday from Switzerland, Do said, "The two Koreas will form unified teams in women?s basketball and ice hockey, rowing and judo, and to prepare for Olympic qualification, we decided to begin joint training soon."
The IOC will grant final approval for the four joint squads around March.
The number of unified teams could increase down the road, according to Ryu Seung-min, a member of the IOC's Athletes' Commission who attended Friday's meeting. "Some disciplines like table tennis and canoeing could still field unified teams after talks are held and athletes' opinions are gathered," he said.
[Olympics] [Detente] [Pushback] [Drugs] [UNUS]
Hyundai Asan Celebrates 20th Anniversary at Mt. Kumgang
By Choi Hyun-mook
February 08, 2019 11:15
Tour operator Hyundai Asan said Thursday that it is celebrating its 20th anniversary in North Korea's Mt. Kumgang resort on Friday.
The company is sending 22 executives and staff to the scenic mountain resort by bus for the two-day event.
Hyundai Asan, which pioneered package tours to Mt. Kumgang, also sent staff there last November to mark their 20th anniversary.
Hyundai Group chairwoman Hyun Jeong-eun will not take part in the event this time, and it is unclear if any North Korean officials have been invited.
A Hyundai Asan staffer said Thursday, "North Korea has often informed us only on the day of the ceremony who will attend."
It contacted North Korea through the inter-Korean liaison office on Jan. 25 for permission to host the event. The authorization raised hopes that the tours can resume in the foreseeable future.
They were stopped when a North Korean soldier shot a South Korean tourist there in 2008. But a Unification Ministry official said Thursday that the ceremony has "no relation with a resumption of package tours to Mt. Kumgang."
Two Koreas to hold talks on traditional wrestling exchanges
Posted : 2019-02-07 11:05
Updated : 2019-02-07 11:05
Two Korean traditional wrestlers compete during 2018 Korea Open Ssireum Festival in Andong, North Gyeongsang Province, in November last year. Korea Times file
South and North Korea plan to hold talks on ways to boost exchanges in "ssireum," traditional Korean wrestling, at the North's Mount Geumgang next week, a sporting body here said Wednesday.
Park Pal-yong, the chief of Seoul's Korea Ssireum Association (KSA) plans to embark on a two-day cross-border trip next Tuesday to meet with North Korean officials in charge of the sport, according to the KSA.
"One of the items to be on the table is the co-hosting of the ssireum festival slated for June," association official Jeong In-gil said.
The event, named the Dano Festival, is set to take place in South Korea's Gangwon Province, but that could change if the two sides agree to co-host it, he said, adding that several rounds of working-level meetings will follow to arrange details.
The two Koreas also plan to work for the unification of the different terminology and rules of ssireum and push for personnel exchanges, according to the association.
Such efforts have gathered steam since November after South and North Korea successfully pushed for the joint inscription of ssireum as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO's World Heritage Committee.
Announcing: The Best of North Korea
Not many people realise that tourists actually have a fair amount of choice in North Korea. There are plenty of restaurants, bars, hotels and other services that are open to foreigners and locals. Depending on which tour you're on, you'll likely visit one of these spots. After more than two decades of travel in the DPRK, we reckon these are the ones to look out for.
BEST HOTEL: JANAMSAN HOTEL
Located near the picturesque Janam Hill in Kaesong, the ancient town that plays host to the DMZ with South Korea, the Janamsan Hotel is our favourite in North Korea. The staff are incredibly friendly, and since Kim Jong Un visited in 2018 for the meetings with South Korea at the DMZ, the facilities have had an upgrade, although the hotel still has a 1970's Soviet-style design.
This is also the place for excellent local snacks, namely yakgua, 'medicine snacks', which are a kind of dry cookie and umaegi, which are honey covered rice cakes.
? BOOK YOUR NORTH KOREA TRIP NOW ?
BEST RESTAURANT: WONSAN FISH RESTAURANT
The Wonsan fish restaurant makes the most of its coastal location by serving up fresh catches from the sea, which is only 50 metres away. We celebrated Michale Palin?s 65th birthday in one of the private rooms here, dining on delicious sashimi and to traditional Korean fish dishes.
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Paektu-san Highland Treks
12N/13D in North Korea
HIKEKOREA Paektu-san Highland Treks
Beneath Korea?s highest and most sacred peak lies the Paektu plateau. During the Japanese occupation of Korea (1910-45), independence fighters were based in the Manchuria region of China. They would infiltrate from there into the isolated Paektu plateau regions and set up secret camps (mil-yong ??). There they would train partisans in guerilla warfare, spread anti-Japanese propaganda, exchange information and receive resources and medical items. These well-hidden secret camps continued south along Korea?s Baekdu Daegan mountain spine into Phyongnam-do province. The Paektu plateau is therefore considered a sacred zone of the revolution and has been off limits to outsiders forever. In North Korea, the camps have been kept as cultural relics of that period and are visited annually by groups of students and adults as an educational pilgrimage, where they retrace the footsteps of the partisans. Hike Korea has been granted exclusive access to this pristine area and is permitted to explore these remote partisan trails on foot. In August 2018 it launched its inaugural trekking expedition. We got to see some never seen before amazing mountainscape and walked in untouched pristine zones for six days. Our hosts, the North Koreans were excellent, including the upbeat guides at the secret camps. Afterwards, the trek received a lot of global media attention. So we?re looking forward to extending the 2019 treks to four 6N/7D expeditions, (an extra days hiking) including the add-on 6D tour of Pyongyang, Kaesong, and Panmunjom. The potential for this area is ongoing and it is our future desire to see it developed in a sustainable manner with trail maintenance, hut construction, and a permit system, that one day means everyone can enjoy it.
N.Korea's Disastrous Asian Cup Ends with Heavy Fines
January 23, 2019 11:11
North Korea's footballers have been slapped with heavy fines after repeatedly fouling opposing teams during the group stage matches of the Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup in the UAE.
North Korea was handed 11 yellow and two red cards in the group stage, in which it lost all three of its games, scoring just one goal while giving up 14.
The AFC's Disciplinary and Ethics Committee on Sunday fined the North a combined $13,000 for red cards given to Jong Il-gwan of FC Luzern and Han Kwang-song of A.C. Perugia Calcio and also punished their country for breaching the yellow card limit for a single game.
[Football] [Overseas labour]
North Korea?s new beach resort will soon be ready for tourists
The development, which comes with a water slide and cinema, is located in an area previously used for artillery drills and ballistic missile launches
The project was built according to the precise demands of Kim Jong-un, who is said to have spent his childhood summers in the area
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 January, 2019, 6:45pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 January, 2019, 10:05pm
18 Jan 2019
A giant beach resort being built in North Korea to attract more tourists to the country is ?nearing completion?, a US monitor said on Thursday.
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Satellite pictures released by 38 North showed rapid progress on the sprawling development, now equipped with a water slide and cinema.
The seaside strip, known as the Wonsan-Kalma Coastal Tourist Area, is squeezed between a new airport and the country?s east coast, in an area that has previously been used for artillery drills and ballistic missile launches.
Was Kim?s China visit an economic lifeline for border development?
The site?s construction has been closely overseen by leader Kim Jong-un and plans have been announced for a grand opening in October, when the country marks the 74th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers? Party of Korea.
Kim, who reportedly spent his childhood summers in the area, visited the site at least three times last year according to state media, sometimes berating officials in charge of the works and issuing detailed orders.
[North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his wife Ri Sol Ju (left) inspecting the construction site of the Wonsan-Kalma coastal tourist area in Kangwon Province. Photo: KCNA]
Kim ?found that the whole street was not perfect in the artistic aspect?, the official KCNA news agency reported after his October inspection.
Unified Korean team loses last match at handball worlds
Posted : 2019-01-21 10:17
Updated : 2019-01-21 10:21
The unified Korean men's handball team celebrates after beating Japan 27-25 at the International Handball Federation World Men's Handball Championship at Royal Arena in Copenhagen, Denmark, on Jan. 19. Yonhap
The unified Korean men's handball team has finished third from the bottom in its world championship debut.
Korea fell to Saudi Arabia 27-26 in the 21st-place match at the International Handball Federation (IHF) World Men's Handball Championship at Royal Arena in Copenhagen on Sunday (local time).
The squad of 16 South Koreans and four North Koreans, coached by South Korean Cho Young-shin, ended up in 22nd place among 24 participants.
This was the first international appearance by a joint Korean handball team, men's or women's.
Korea lost all five preliminary matches to fall into the ranking round and captured its historic first win over Japan in the 21st-24th place semifinals on Saturday.
The Victory Day Tour
7 nights in North Korea +
Experience one of North Korea?s most important national holidays
that will see mass dances and other festivities! This tour will
also travel to Kaesong, the DMZ, Nampo, and Pyongsong. Round-trip
by train or upgrade to flight
From 1,249 EUR per person
July 27th 1953 was the day the Korean War armistice was signed. This occasion is celebrated in North Korea as ?Victory Day? and is a major annual holiday. This year will mark the 66th anniversary and we will make sure that you?re in Pyongyang on the day to join in the celebrations with the locals picnicking in Moran Park, and attending whatever dances or events are planned on this day.
Aside from joining in the celebrations with the locals, we won?t be missing out on seeing the main sites of the capital city, Pyongyang.
United Korean handball team to compete in world championships
Posted on : Jan.9,2019 16:43 KST Modified on : Jan.9,2019 16:43 KST
The unified Korean men?s handball team is set to compete in the IHF Men?s Handball World Championship, which will launch in Berlin on Jan. 11. The Korean will face Germany in the opening match. The unified team will be accompanied by a unified cheering squad. The team comprises 16 South Korean athletes and four North Korean athletes, and began training together in Berlin on Dec. 22, 2018. Although other countries have been limited to 16 athletes per team, the International Handball Federation (IHF) made an exception for the unified Korean team. The photo shows the team during training on Jan. 2. (provided by the Korean Handball Federation)
Inter-Korean Handball Team to Compete in World Championship
January 04, 2019 08:57
Handball players from the two Koreas formed a joint team for the upcoming World Championship. They are now in Germany for training ahead of the World Men's Handball Championship, which will be co-hosted by the country and Denmark later this month.
The two Koreas' ambassadors to Germany attended training on Wednesday and expressed their hopes that the New Year would get off to a good start with peaceful sporting exchanges between the South and the North.
Sixteen players from the South and four from the North will face Germany in the tournament's opener in Berlin on Jan. 10.
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