North Korea has not responded to South Korea's invitation to join an international swimming event set to kick off later this week, the unification ministry said Monday.
South Korea and FINA earlier invited North Korea to the biennial 2019 FINA World Championships to be held from Friday to July 28 in Gwangju and Yeosu, its two southern cities. FINA is the French abbreviation of the International Swimming Federation.
"We have nothing new to share with regard to the issue of the North's participation in the world swimming championships," Lee Sang-min, the ministry's spokesperson, told a regular press briefing in response to a question as to whether the North has reacted to the invitation.
In mid-May, Gwangju Mayor Lee Yong-sup and FINA President Julio Maglione issued a joint statement, saying that they are "sincerely hoping" that North Korea will be part of the event.
Last month, the city council of Gwangju also adopted a resolution, urging the participation of North Korean athletes in the world's largest swimming festival.
This Friday is the deadline for any country to register for the event. (Yonhap)