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North Korea interested in hosting World Weightlifting Championships

Pyongyang has indicated interest in hosting the youth weightlifting competition.

By
Elizabeth Shim
North Korea told the International Weightlifting Federation its Chung Ju-yung Gymnasium could accommodate more than 10,000 spectators. File Photo by Yonhap
North Korea told the International Weightlifting Federation its Chung Ju-yung Gymnasium could accommodate more than 10,000 spectators. File Photo by Yonhap

SEOUL, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- North Korea might be struggling with perceptions of its standing in the world after a fourth nuclear test, but that hasn't stopped Pyongyang from expressing interest in hosting the World Weightlifting Championships.

Attila Adamfi, director general of the International Weightlifting Federation, told Radio Free Asia North Korea recently said it would forward another bid to host the event, a year after failing to win the last bid.

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Adamfi said he had received a message from Pyongyang, indicating interest in hosting the youth weightlifting competition.

North Korea had said its Chung Ju-yung Gymnasium could accommodate more than 10,000 spectators, and that the country would be ready to host a game in either 2018 or 2019.

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The gym is named after the South Korean founder of Hyundai Corp., who worked with Seoul to provide economic assistance to the North.

If North Korea wins the bid, the championships could be the largest sporting event ever held in recent years.

In 1979, North Korea hosted the World Table Tennis Championships but after its economy collapsed in the 90s, Pyongyang has refrained from hosting major athletic competitions.

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In 2015 North Korea competed to host the 2017 Championships, but lost to Japan.

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The recent nuclear test, however, is not likely to sway the IWF toward favoring Pyongyang over rival bidders.

North Korea was the focus of a discussion between Chinese and South Korea representatives of the six-party talks in Beijing Thursday.

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The Asahi Shimbun reported Hwang Joon-kook, Seoul's special representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs said the two sides generally agreed more stringent sanctions were needed against North Korea.

After meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wu Dawei, Hwang said China had expressed favorable views on additional North Korea sanctions.

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