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WED, 2014-11-26  KST

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North Korea holds international pro-wrestling contest
Updated: 2014-09-01 15:51:31 KST


The crowd cheers as renowned names from the wrestling world like Bob Sapp and Jerome Le Banner take to the ring.
The last time Pyongyang hosted a pro wrestling competition like this was in April 1995.
Foreign media reported on the event, taking a greater interest in the changes they have noticed in the state, such as its developed infrastructure and increasingly savvy spectators.

(Korean, )
"This is the first time I've watched such an event. It was very impressive. I hope these friendly games take place more often for the sake of unity."

Some American visitors were in attendance, including Pras Michel, who co-founded the hip-hop group The Fugees.


"I'm struck to see the developed infrastructure in the country. (Based on what we're allowed to see?) Well, obviously exactly."

With guests like Pras Michel, who is a friend of U.S. President Barack Obama, some speculate it was North Korea's move to improve its international relations, but experts view it as an ordinary sports diplomacy event that Pyongyang has been holding for a long time.

(Korean, )
"The move is seen as North Korea's way to show that its young leader is active and friendly to the people by hosting athletic events."

In line with the competition, Antonio Inoki, a Japanese wrestler-turned-lawmaker who co-hosted the event, met with North Korea's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-nam over the weekend.
They are believed to have exchanged views on Japanese nationals who were abducted by North Korean agents in the 1970s and 80s.
Sohn Jung-in, Arirang News.
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