calendar>>August 29. 2014 Juche 103
Vice-Chairman of Olympic Committee Refers to Preparations for Asian Games
Pyongyang, August 29 (KCNA) -- Son Kwang Ho, vice-chairman of the DPRK Olympic Committee, referred to the preparations of the DPRK group of players for the 17th Asian Games, when interviewed by a reporter of the Central Broadcasting Committee of the DPRK on Thursday.

The 17th Asian Games are slated to take place from September 19 to October 4 in Inchon of south Korea, he said, and went on:

Despite the bedeviled relations between the north and the south, we decided to send the group of players to the Asian Games for national reconciliation and unity, guided by the Olympic idea of peace and friendship and have stepped up its preparations in real earnest.

Supreme leader Kim Jong Un personally guided matches for examining the men's and women's football of the National Sports Team which will take part in the 17th Asian Games.

Our players' participation in the 17th Asian Games offers an important occasion in improving the relations between the north and the south and removing distrust between them, he said, stressing the need for the sportspersons of the DPRK to positively contribute to promoting the reconciliation and unity between the fellow countrymen through the games.

Son Kwang Ho said the DPRK would send the delegation of its Olympic Committee and 150 players, coaches, referees and other necessary persons. Its players will take part in 14 events such as men's and women's football, swimming (synchronized swimming and diving), judo, rowing, shooting, weightlifting, gymnastics, archery, boxing, wrestling, table tennis, canoeing, marathon and karate, Son noted, adding:

We are taking an active part in the works being under way according to the rules and practice of the Asian Games in the Olympic spirit. The DPRK delegation took part in the drawing for the 17th Asian Games and the international sports scientific symposium held in Inchon recently.

Referring to the issue of cheerleading squad, Son said:

We had decided to send a large cheerleading squad in order to cheer our players participating in the Asian Games, improve the inter-Korean relations and promote national reconciliation and unity.

But the south side openly slandered the decision to send the cheerleading squad, asserting it is a "group for political operation in the south" and "for creating discord in the south". Not content with this, at the north-south working-level talks held in July the south side took issue with the scale of the cheerleading squad and the size of the flag of the DPRK and finally raised even the issue of expenses which the north side had never mentioned, bringing the talks to a rupture.

As the south side is displeased with the dispatch of our cheerleading squad, we decided not to send it to the 17th Asian Games.

The DPRK delegation notified those concerned of the Asian Games Organizing Committee and those concerned of the authorities of the south side of this decision when it was participating the drawing for the Asian Games and the international sports scientific symposium held in Inchon from Aug. 20.

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