Commemorative concert for 62nd anniversary of armistice of Korean War

Commemorative concert for 62nd anniversary of armistice

Descendants of Korean War veterans from abroad sing in a choir at Olympic Park in Seoul on July 27, 2015 to commemorate the 62nd anniversary of signing the armistice agreement to end the 1950-53 conflict. It is part of various commemorative events for the country’s third official annual celebration of the armistice and the participation of United Nations forces since South Korea designated July 27 as U.N. Forces Participation Day in 2013. (Yonhap) (END)

Yonhap News

Regional powers to meet over Korea DPR nuclear program

File:Flag-map of North Korea.svg

SEOUL, July 31 (Yonhap) — Deputy nuclear envoys from South Korea, the U.S. and Japan were to meet in Tokyo Friday to coordinate their next steps in getting North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program.

The trilateral meeting comes after a series of bilateral meetings between the member nations of the six-party talks, which also involve China and Russia.

Kim Gunn, director-general for North Korean nuclear affairs at South Korea’s Foreign Ministry, will meet with his U.S. and Japanese counterparts, Sydney Seiler and Shigeki Takizaki.

Seiler, the U.S. special envoy for the six-party talks, is joining the session after holding meetings with his counterparts in South Korea and China earlier this week.

After meetings in Seoul on Monday, he said North Korea should learn a lesson from the progress in the U.S.-led efforts to curb Iran’s uranium enrichment program.

“We will continue to explore the lessons learned as it were from our experience in negotiations on the Iran deal and see what we can do to apply those lessons to bring the DPRK to the negotiating table,” he said, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Following a visit to China last week, Hwang Joon-kook, special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, told reporters this week that North Korea stands at a crossroads between completing its nuclear development and returning to denuclearization talks.

South Korea and the U.S. have repeatedly stressed that they are open to dialogue with the North. In the absence of a response from the North, however, they have also warned of greater pressure on the communist state.

They have called on China, North Korea’s largest ally and benefactor, to play a bigger role in reining in Pyongyang’s nuclear program.

Speaking in a rare press conference in Beijing on Tuesday, North Korean Ambassador to China Ji Jae-ryong flatly rejected talks aimed at first unilaterally freezing or dismantling his country’s nuclear program.

The trilateral session in Tokyo is also expected to be used as a forum to coordinate the three countries’ position on the North Korean issue before it is raised and discussed at the ASEAN Regional Forum in Malaysia next week.

hague@yna.co.kr

(END)

Yonhap News

North Korean IOC member stresses importance of sports exchanges with South Korea

 

The two Koreas should keep promoting sports exchanges even as they remain at odds politically, a senior Pyongyang sports official said.

Chang Ung, the lone North Korean member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), told Yonhap News Agency in Kuala Lumpur on Friday that politics and sports should remain separated.

“Just because there haven’t been many exchanges (between the Koreas), it doesn’t mean we should also halt sports exchanges,”

Chang said on the sidelines of the 128th IOC Session at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center.

In mid-July, Voice of America reported that Chang, head of the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF), was scheduled to visit South Korea on Oct. 6 with other taekwondo officials.

Chang said the report, which quoted a U.S.-based taekwondo magazine, was blown out of proportions. Chang added that while he doesn’t yet have specific plans to visit South Korea, it is “not a bad idea” to make a cross-border trip.

Last August, the ITF and the Seoul-based World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) reached a breakthrough agreement to allow North Korean athletes to take part in the martial art at Summer Olympics.

Currently, the WTF, led by South Korean Choue Chung-won, is the only global taekwondo body sanctioned by the IOC, and only the athletes of countries recognized by the WTF are allowed to compete in the Olympics. The ITF, which is not recognized by the IOC, had been unable to compete in the Olympics. Yet under the agreement, athletes registered to the WTF and ITF will be free to compete in each other’s competitions under the rules of each organization.

Choue and Chang first began their talks on the agreement in September 2013. Chang said the ITF has remained in close coordination with the WTF, saying, “We should honor the terms of our agreement.”

Both Chang and Choue are in Kuala Lumpur. Choue isn’t an IOC member but is here as the leader of an international sport governing body.

Chang said he hasn’t had an opportunity to speak to Choue at length because of scheduling conflicts. (Yonhap)
 

The Korea Herald

Could sponsor pressure for Asian tour push Manchester United towards Australia?

August 2, 2015 – 12:06AM

Michael Lynch

SENIOR SPORTS REPORTER WITH THE AGE

Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney in action against Paris Saint-Germain.

Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney in action against Paris Saint-Germain. Photo: AP

Liverpool pulled 96,000-plus to the MCG when they played Melbourne Victory at the cavernous stadium in 2013.

Real Madrid attracted more than 99,000 when they saw off Manchester City in late July in the final game of the ICC tournament staged in Melbourne this year.

Could Manchester United bring even more if they were lured back to Australia’s storied stadium next year as one of the soccer giants appearing in the competition?

It would be a tight squeeze, but if any team anywhere has the brand image and clout to rival Spanish giants Real and Barcelona it is United, even if they finished well behind the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal in last season’s Premiership race.

Reports in the UK this week suggested United’s major sponsors such as Chevrolet, the American car brand that is part of General Motors, and Aon, a UK-based global insurance giant, would like Louis Van Gaal’s team to play more pre-season matches in Asia next year.

A tournament in Australia against serious opposition in the ICC would be a perfect stepping stone to the 2016-17 Premier League season. It would offer serious preparation before a shirt-selling, brand-building sweep through China and other South East Asian countries on the way home before the kick off of the following Premiership campaign.

ICC organisers were delighted with the roll-ups for the three matches that took place in July, with Real the driver for massive crowds in their two games.

United, which is a regular in the ICC tournament in the United States, would be a huge attraction for organisers hoping to cement Melbourne’s place in the ICC hierarchy. The company that runs the competition also stages tournaments in Asia and the US.

Van Gaal, who took over as United coach a year ago, bridled at the amount of commercial activity his players were subjected to a year ago in the US and the club managed to cut back the number of distractions the Reds had to deal with this year.

The Dutchman would probably not be happy if his players had to do a lot more public appearances in Asia next season, but if the evidence of this year’s ICC tournament is any guide, they would not be subjected to an arduous off-field workload in Melbourne.

Neither Real Madrid nor Roma did much more than they were contractually obliged to in terms of media appearances, and there were certainly few opportunities to even talk to stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo. Manchester City, which owns A-League team Melbourne City, did rather more as they have more “skin” in the Australian game.

A report in The Times this week hammered home the power of the United name and explained why its shirt sponsor, Chevrolet – which inked a seven-year deal worth £357 million – was so keen to get more exposure in Asia using United as the vehicle.

The story said when the deal was announced at the 2012 Shanghai Motor Show, the car company received more than a billion page impressions checking out the details over the following two weeks. That was more traffic than it generated by advertising at the Super Bowl, The Times said.

United toured Australia in 2013 as part of a swing through Asia at the start of what was David Moyes’ sole season in charge at Old Trafford. The Reds beat an A-League All-Star selection 5-1 in front of 83,000 fans at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium.

United have just returned to England following their four matches in their latest US pre-season venue. Van Gaal’s team, which has spent heavily in the off-season on midfielders Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin, beat Club America 1-0 San Jose Earthquakes 3-1 and Barcelona by a similar scoreline before finishing with a 2-0 defeat to Paris St-Germain.

The Sydney Morning Herald