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Will upcoming talks on Asian Games lead to improved inter-Korean ties? Updated: 2014-07-15 14:30:12 KST

Will upcoming talks on Asian Games lead to improved inter-Korean ties?

Thursday's inter-Korean, working-level talks will center on North Korea's participation in the upcoming Asian Games in South Korea.
Last week, the North said it would be sending a large-scale cheering squad along with athletes to the sporting event, which begins in Incheon on September 19th.
Topping the agenda on Thursday will be transportation arrangements for the team, their accommodations and how the cost of the trip will be covered.
The North could also propose forming a joint cheering team, taking part in the opening ceremony as a joint entry and teaming up North and South Korean athletes in certain events.
But the question is whether the North will propose steps to follow through with its "special proposal" made earlier this month to improve inter-Korean ties or use the sporting event as an arena for its political propaganda.
Some expect the talks could extend beyond the scope of the sporting event.

"While the two Koreas are in a state of confrontation, the Incheon Asian Games and the upcoming working-level talks will make a positive contribution to the future of inter-Korean talks and restoring private exchanges."
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Amid its recent string of military provocations near the border, North Korea is promoting its participation in the Incheon Asian Games through state-run media, saying its athletes are training vigorously in preparation for the sporting event.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.
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