North Korea will send its male and female football teams to the Asian Games to be held in South Korea later this year, Pyongyang‘s state news agency said Monday, in an apparent move to ease tensions through sports exchanges.
The Korean Central News Agency neither provided details nor named the South Korean host city of Incheon, a port city west of Seoul, which is set to host the 2014 Incheon Asian Games from Sept. 19 to Oct. 4.
The move came days after North Korea called on Seoul to scrap its upcoming joint military drills with the United States as it recently made a series of conciliatory gestures to ease tensions on the divided Korean Peninsula.
Last week, the North also proposed halting all slander and all hostile military actions between the two Koreas.
South Korea spurned the North’s overture, calling it a “deceptive” ploy.
Last year, South Korea invited North Korea to participate in the 2014 Incheon Asian Games via the Olympic Council of Asia, a sporting body that controls all the sports in Asia. It has 45 member states, including North Korea.
In 2002, North Korea sent 184 athletes and a squad of more than 100 female cheerleaders to Busan, South Korea‘s second-largest city, for the Busan Games. (Yonhap News)