Asian Games organizers ask IOC to bring North Korea to event


South Korean organizers of the Asian Games have asked the International Olympic Committee to urge North Korea to enter more athletes.

North Korea’s state media said in January the country will take part in men’s and women’s football at the Asian Games in Incheon in September, but it’s not clear if it will take any further part in the event.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Asian Games’ organizing committee said chief Kim Young Soo asked IOC President Thomas Bach to help realize a perfect games by more participation from North Korea.

Bach gave assurances the IOC will attempt to do so in a meeting in Kuwait this week, the statement added.

The rival Koreas remain in a technical state of war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty. On Monday, the countries fired hundreds of artillery shells into each other’s waters in a flare-up of animosity.

North Korea boycotted the 1986 Asian Games and the 1988 Summer Olympics, both in Seoul, but attended the 2002 Asian Games in Busan and the 2003 University Games in Daegu.

Athletes from the two Koreas marched together at the 2000 Olympics opening ceremony under a "Unified Korea" flag, and did it again at the 2004 Athens Olympics, the 2002 Busan Asian Games, the 2006 Doha Asian Games.