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International pro-wrestling competition to be held in Pyongyang

Updated: 2014-08-29 22:00:27 (KST)
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Several athletes arrive in Pyongyang airport.
They are all pro-wrestlers here to take part in an international wrestling competition.
There are some familiar faces such as Bobb Sapp and Jerome Le Banner who are well known in the wrestling world.
But all eyes are on Japanese former wrestler-turned politician Antonio Inoki.

(Japanese)
""I believe the this event will be successful. I wish this competition will serve as a stepping stone for international peace."

The head of North Korea's International Olympic Committee Jang Ung greeted the athletes upon their arrival. North Korean media has been extensively promoting the competition, airing previews and detailed introductions.
North Korean leader Kim Jung-un is known to take advantage of sports diplomacy to promote his country, but some experts say this could be a means to enhance relations with Japan.
As Inoki had a meeting with secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea Kang Sok-ju ….. experts believe he might also be acting as a go-between for the Japanese government.
The pro wrestling event comes as the two nations look to improve bilateral ties, especially by dealing with the issue of Japanese nationals kidnapped by the North Korean agents in the 1970s and the 1980s.
Seoul-based Yonhap News reported, quoting diplomatic sources in Tokyo, that the two countries face difficulties in making progress in their government-level talks.
Kim Hyun-bin, Arirang News.


Reporter : hyunbin@arirang.co.kr

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