World / Asia-Pacific

DPRK plans to attend University Games in ROK

(Agencies) Updated: 2015-03-06 10:31

DPRK plans to attend University Games in ROK

DPRK's workers and students perform the country's biggest show the Arirang, at the May Day stadium in Pyongyang, DPRK, Oct 3, 2007. [Photo/IC]

SEOUL, South Korea - The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) plans to send a team to this year's University Games in the Republic of Korea (ROK), organizers said Thursday.

The University Games' organizing committee said in a statement that the DPRK wants to send 75 athletes and 33 sports officials to the multi-sport event in the South Korean city of Gwangju from July 3-14. Its intention was conveyed Tuesday via the International University Sports Federation, it said.

The DPRK wants to compete in eight events, including women's football, table tennis and judo, according to the statement.

South Korea's Unification Ministry, which handles relations with the DPRK, said Thursday it plans to approve DPRK's participation in the games.

The University Games is an Olympic-style event, with about 20,000 athletes from 170 countries competing in 21 events.

The DPRK boycotted the 1986 Asian Games and the 1988 Summer Olympics, both held in Seoul, but has since attended several other events in the ROK, including last year's Asian Games in Incheon.

It's unclear whether the DPRK will take part in the 2018 Winter Olympics in ROK's Pyeongchang.

Analysts say DPRK's participation in international sports events serves as a chance for the isolated country to show off its athletes espousing their devotion to their top leader Kim Jong-un.

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