Home > News > World
Monday July 7, 2014 MYT 10:10:02 AM
Monday July 7, 2014 MYT 10:11:17 AM
by sohee kim
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea said on Monday it will send cheerleaders along with its athletes to the Asian Games in the South as a gesture of peace after weeks of firing rockets and fiery rhetoric.
North Korea, which regularly threatens to destroy its neighbour in a sea of flames, is sending 150 athletes to the Games in the South Korean port city of Incheon which begin on Sept. 19.
The two sides are technically still at war after their 1950-53 civil conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.
The North's cheerleaders have proved a huge attraction in rare appearances in the South since the war, with tightly choreographed routines and messages of peace and unification.
"It is necessary to put an end to all kinds of calumnies and vituperation that foster misunderstanding and distrust among the fellow countrymen," the North said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.
"We have decided to dispatch a cheerleading squad along with the athletes to the 17th Asian Games in order to improve relationships between the North and the South and to create an atmosphere of national reconciliation."
North Korea, which has threatened a fourth nuclear test in violation of U.N. sanctions, last week demanded the South halt joint military drills with the United States. South Korea rejected the demand and urged the North to take steps to end its nuclear weapons programme.
The North has test-fired short range missiles and rockets three times in the past 10 days and threatened to continue doing so.
In 2005, it sent 101 cheerleaders, including Ri Sol Ju, who has since married the state's leader, Kim Jong Un, to the Asian Athletics Championships in Incheon.
(Editing by Jack Kim and Nick Macfie)
Insight - Nigeria stalls Chad, aims to beat Boko Haram before election
U.S. spy chief says he got a mixed reception in North Korea
Bomb near top Cairo court house kills two; other blasts hit capital
Obama hopes for U.S. embassy in Cuba before April summit in Panama
Malaysians abroad share how they celebrate our local festivals
8 Incredible food and wine adventures you can do in Australia!
Stickers given out to inform public of ruling
More Malaysians travelling to Japan
Dating app Tinder launches premium subscription plan
Copyright © 1995-2015 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)