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South Korean basketball players to hold friendly match in Pyongyang

By
Wooyoung Lee
South Korea's basketball delegation members wave as they leave for Pyongyang aboard a military plane on July 3, 2018, from an airport in Seongnam, south of Seoul. The two Koreas will hold a set of four friendly matches over two days with mixed teams of players from the two sides. This is the fourth such event, and the first since October 2003. Photo by Yonhap
South Korea's basketball delegation members wave as they leave for Pyongyang aboard a military plane on July 3, 2018, from an airport in Seongnam, south of Seoul. The two Koreas will hold a set of four friendly matches over two days with mixed teams of players from the two sides. This is the fourth such event, and the first since October 2003. Photo by Yonhap

SEOUL, July 2 (UPI) -- South Korean basketball players will hold a joint basketball match with North Korean players in Pyongyang from Wednesday to Thursday.

The South Korean team of men and women professional players left for Pyongyang on Tuesday on a military plane from Seongnam, south of Seoul, Yonhap reported. South Korean government officials and journalists also accompanied.

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The joint basketball game is held for the first time in more than a decade since the last one in the North Korean capital in 2003. It's the fourth game in basketball exchanges between the North and South. The first two matches took place in Pyongyang and Seoul in 1999, according to Edaily.

"As Pyeongchang Winter Olympics laid the foundation for peace on the Korean peninsula, I hope the basketball match will further accelerate the process for peace," said Cho Myoung-gyon, Unification Minister to reporters prior to his departure, Yonhap reported.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is known to be an avid basketball fan. He invited the former NBA star player Dennis Rodman to the North multiple times.

At the North-South summit in April, Kim also suggested to South Korean President Moon Jae-in that he would like to invite South Korean basketball players to play with players in the North.

South and North Korean basketball athletes will hold a set of four matches from Wednesday to Thursday.

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