N. Korea to play in table tennis tourney

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N. Korea to play in table tennis tourney

North Korea has committed to playing in an international table tennis tournament alongside South Korea, a report said yesterday.

Radio Free Asia said Pak Myong-chol, North Korea’s minister of physical culture and sports guidance, informed Adham Sharara, head of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), of the North’s decision to play in the Peace and Sport Table Tennis Tournament during Sharara’s visit to Pyongyang earlier this month.

In May, the ITTF and the Monaco-based Peace and Sport Foundation jointly announced that they have invited 10 countries, including the two Koreas, to play in the tournament, slated for Nov. 21-22 in Qatar. The organizations said the tournament was designed to “encourage dialogue and good relations” between countries, and they invited nations that have been historically at odds with each other to form doubles teams.

While South Korea and other states quickly committed to the event, North Korea had been wavering. Sharara then made a three-day visit to Pyongyang starting on Oct. 5 to persuade North Korean officials.

Aside from the Koreas, Qatar, the U.S., Russia, China, Japan, Iran, India and Pakistan will play.

According to the ITTF, the competition will feature men’s and women’s singles, doubles and mixed doubles.
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