A coalition of civic and religious groups said Wednesday they are seeking to create a cheerleading squad for both South and North Korean athletes at the upcoming Asian Games.
The largest sporting event in Asia is set to take place in the South Korean port city of Incheon from Sept. 19-Oct. 4. North Korea has yet to decide whether to send a delegation of athletes and a cheering squad.
The coalition of more than 600 groups nationwide, including Korea YMCA, said they will recruit about 5,000 citizens for the cheering squad.
“We hope that the cheering squad will serve as an opportunity for improving inter-Korean relations,” the groups said at a press conference in Seoul. “We will also strive to help North Korean cheerleaders meet with regular South Koreans to foster mutual understanding.”
The coalition called on the government and the host city of Incheon to lend support to their drive aimed at ensuring the successful hosting of the Asiad and promoting reconciliation between South and North Korea.
It also said street campaigns will be held to encourage Pyongyang to send a cheerleading squad despite an earlier breakdown of inter-Korean talks on the logistics of sending its athletes and cheerleaders.
Earlier last month, North Korea threatened not to participate in the Asian Games unless Seoul accepted its demand for financial support for its delegation and cheerleaders.
The two Koreas have yet to decide when to meet to discuss the issue. (Yonhap)