South Korea World Cup visit to Pyongyang confirmed
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea has confirmed that it will play its upcoming World Cup qualifier against North Korea in Pyongyang, allaying concerns that the Oct. 15 game would be moved elsewhere.
In an official announcement, the Korea Football Association (KFA) in Seoul said it had been informed by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) that North Korea will host the Group H game as scheduled.
It will be only the second visit by the South Korean men’s team to Pyongyang, following an international friendly that took place in 1990.
The KFA says, “On Monday, an official of the AFC had a meeting with the vice-president of the North Korean Football Association in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. The North Korean federation said they will treat our team just the same as the other teams in Group H.”
A first competitive meeting in Pyongyang would be symbolic as the two countries are still technically at war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.
During qualification for the 2010 World Cup, North Korea chose to host games against South Korea in Shanghai.
North Korea sits on top of the group with two wins from its opening two games in the second round of Asian qualification, including a win in Pyongyang against Lebanon. South Korea has played only one game so far, winning 2-0 in Turkmenistan.