|Members of the South Korean football team prepare to board an Air China flight to Pyongyang for a World Cup qualifier match against North Korea from the airport in Beijing on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019. AP|
North Korea agreed to provide South Korea with a video of an inter-Korean World Cup qualifier to be held Tuesday in Pyongyang, a unification ministry official said, after Seoul’s push to televise the match live fell through.
The North promised to give the video to the South’s delegation before it departs from Pyongyang on Wednesday afternoon after the match to be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. The delegation is scheduled to arrive back home via Beijing early Thursday.
South Korea had pushed for live broadcasting of Tuesday’s match, but negotiations with the North fell apart. The match represents the first such match since 1990, when the two Koreas held a friendly in the North Korean capital.
“We have been promised to receive a DVD containing footage of the game,” the ministry official told reporters on condition of anonymity, adding that the file will be available to a South Korean audience after the footballers return home.
Asked if the video will cover the whole 90-minute match, he said, “I think so.”
North Korea has stayed mum on Seoul’s repeated calls to allow South Korean spectators and reporters to visit Pyongyang for the upcoming match. The North broadcast another World Cup qualifier held in Pyongyang early last month, a day after the game took place.
The ministry official said that a press room has been set up in Kim Il-sung Stadium, where South Korean staff accompanying the players will be stationed to deliver relevant information during the game.
The South Korean team arrived in the North Korean capital Monday afternoon, after stopping over in Beijing, and spent an hour working out on the artificial grass at the stadium.
South Korea has hoped that the Pyongyang match could provide a much-needed impetus to inter-Korean relations that have been in limbo since the no-deal summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump.
Seoul did not send any government officials to the event. The ministry official said that it has not been confirmed whether high-ranking North Korean officials, including leader Kim, will watch the game at the stadium.
Meanwhile, FIFA President Gianni Infantino will travel to Pyongyang to watch Tuesday’s inter-Korean football match, the official said, without providing other details on his trip to the North.
Infantino earlier proposed South and North Korea jointly hold the 2023 Women’s World Cup. South Korea welcomed the proposal, but the North has not responded to the offer. (Yonhap)
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