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“Welcome” “Good to See You”

Posted September. 23, 2002 23:06,   


The North Korean delegation participating the 14th Asian Games in Busan finally stepped on the Korean soil.

The first group of 159 in 7 events including men’s football, basketball, Judo, Rowing, Rifle, Gymnastics, and Table Tennis out of 311 in 18 items left the Soon-Ahn Airport in Pyongyang with a charter plane of the Goryo Airlines at 10 o’clock in the morning of the 23rd, and left at the new terminal of Kimhae Airport at 11:36 through a direct route over the East Sea.

The North Korean delegation stayed inside the plane for about 30 minutes and stepped down the trap at 12:05, and got welcomed by the Secretary General of the Busan Asian Games Organizing Committee, Baik, Gi-Moon and the Deputy Mayor of Busan, Oh, Geo-Don.

The North Korean delegation, who wore blue blazers and gray trousers, stepped down the trap with hardened expression like they had strain rather than deep emotion of stepping on the Korean soil, and some athletes wave the Korean Peninsular Banner and saluted back.

The first group of the North Korean delegation led by the Chief Clerk of the North Korean Olympic Committee, Cho, Sang-Nam, Deputy Chairman, Lee, Dong-Hwa, and the Head of the delegation, Bang, Mun-Il includes star players such as Gye, Soon-Hui (Judo), Lee, Myung-Hoon (Basketball), and Kim, Hyun-Hui (Table Tennis). And doctors, physical therapists, 2 reporters, 4 supporters, and officials in football, basketball, and gymnastics accompanied them.

The North Korean delegation said through the Arrival Statement, “We give athletes of the South, citizens of Busan, and compatriots of the South warm fraternal salutation from the people of the North,” and pledged, “we will do whatever we can to show our people’s spirit and power and our will for reunification to the whole world with you.”

However, the officers of the North Korean delegation left the press conference prepared inside the airport leaving just, “Thank you for welcoming us,” and without taking any question from reporters.

The North Korean delegation got on 10 busses and headed directly to the Asian Game Village located on Banyeo 1 Dong, Haewoondae-Gu with solemn protection of the police.

Hwan-Soo Zang Jong-Koo Yang zangpabo@donga.com yjongk@donga.com