North Korea doubts over Seoul's Olympic invite

"We are expecting the North to (positively) respond to Moon's proposal", Lee Duk-haeng, spokesman at Seoul's Unification Ministry, said during a press briefing Monday.

Do Jong-hwan, South Korea's sports minister, suggested the measure, which reflects statements the new South Korean president Moon Jae-in has previously stated about mending ties between the two Koreas, according to The Guardian.

"We have appointed Big Bang's Taeyang as a public relations ambassador", according to the Winter Olympic Games organizers. The north's taekwondo team will team up with South Korean athletes this weekend during the opening ceremony of the sport's world championships in Muju, South Korea.

"If the neighbouring countries in north-east Asia, including North and South Korea, can host the World Cup together, it would help to create peace", Mr Moon said.

"Hopefully we'll be able to ease lingering tensions as we try to bring North Korea on board", he added.

Pyongyang boycotted the 1986 Asian Games and the 1988 Olympics, which were both held in Seoul, but has since taken part in worldwide sports competitions south of the border, most recently the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon. While meeting FIFA President Gianni Infantino, Moon floated the idea of the two Koreas along with neighboring China and Japan co-hosting the 2030 World Cup to help cement regional peace.

Jang Woong, the North's delegate to the International Olympic Committee, will meet IOC president Mr Bach in South Korea next week.

So far, North Korea hasn't had any athletes qualify to compete at the Games.

But with only seven months to go before the Games open in the South Korean resort of Pyeongchang, Chang said there was not enough time to reach an agreement.

The increase in tensions, along with North Korea's accelerated missile tests, have anxious some global sports bodies, too. He said that he is hoping to visit the North Korean ski resort and seek ways to utilize it if possible.

This year, the two countries joined together for a women's soccer's game in Pyongyang and a women's hockey tournament in South Korea.

North Korea has chose to send its demonstration team to the World Taekwondo Championships, which will be held for three days from Saturday in Muju, North Jeolla Province.

  • Leroy Wright