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Kim Jong-un Invited to 2018 Asian Games Opening Ceremony

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits the newly-built combined fishing-tackle factory under the Korean People's Army (KPA), in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang, July 30, 2016. Photo: KCNA/ via REUTERS

By Duncan Mackay |

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un has been invited to the Opening Ceremony of the Asian Games in Jakarta next month, along with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, it was officially confirmed today.

The invitation to the event has been formally extended by Indonesian officials following a visit to North Korea, Reuters reported.

North and South Korea are likely to be a focal point of the Games following the recent summit between Kim and United States President Donald Trump in Singapore.

During the summit, Kim promised to work towards denuclearization and closer links with their neighbors in the South.

Ministers from the two Koreas agreed in April to push for a unified delegation from both countries to parade together in the Opening Ceremony at the Asian Games, due to take place at the 75,000-capacity Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta on August 18.

Asian Games officials in Indonesia wrote to Kim earlier this month to invite him.

Indonesian officials led by Coordinating Human Development and Cultural Affairs Minister Puan Maharani visited North Korea this week to follow up on their invitation.

They held talks with Kim Yong Nam, the nominal head of state and President of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly.

North Korea and Indonesia have maintained close relations since the mid-1960s and both countries have an Embassy in each other’s capital city.

“The main reason for us coming [to Pyongyang] is to convey an official invitation to the President of North Korea to attend the Asian Games Opening Ceremony on August 18,” Maharani said in a release issued by the National Police and reported by Reuters.

Moon was invited to the Asian Games Opening Ceremony during a visit by Maharani to Seoul last week.

He “will consider attending, with circumstances such as future schedule in mind,” Blue House spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom told Reuters. 

North and South Korea marched under a unified flag at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang in February.

A unified North and South Korea women’s ice hockey team also took part in the Games.

The two countries have so far agreed to field teams in five-a-side women’s basketball, men’s and women’s dragon boat and men’s and women’s rowing at the Asian Games, which Jakarta is co-hosting with Palembang.

They will compete under the title “Korea.”

Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz

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