North and South Korean male basketball players hold friendly match in Pyongyang
North and South Korea joined forces for their first basketball friendly in 15 years on Wednesday (July 4) amid a warming of relations since the Winter Olympics in the South and easing tensions over the North’s nuclear and missile programs.
Following female players’ match, male players took to the court in two joint North-South teams, “Peace” and “Prosperity”, in an indoor stadium in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang. The game ended in a 102-102 draw, according to Press Pool in Pyongyang.
North Korean leader and basketball fan Kim Jong Un was not spotted in the crowd on Wednesday but the chairman of the North’s National Sports Guidance Committee, Choe Hwi, who also visited South Korea for the Winter Olympics, was sitting next to the South’s Unification Minister, Cho Myong-gyon, cheering on the teams and clapping their hands.
Kim had suggested the friendlies to South Korean President Moon Jae-in in April when the two held their first summit at the border village of Panmunjom straddling the two Koreas. The South Korean team will return on Friday (July 6) after two more games on Thursday (July 5), this time with teams divided by country – but no flags being shown.