North, South Korea Play to 0-0 Draw in Empty Pyongyang Stadium

Tanya Simon
October 16, 2019

"North Korea promised to provide a DVD containing full footage of the match before our delegation departs", the South's unification ministry, which handles cross-border affairs, said in a statement.

North and South Korea - two countries technically at war - will step onto Kim Il Sung stadium turf for a match with no live broadcast, no South Korean fans and no worldwide media in attendance.

Usually national team matches are not broadcast live in North Korea, with the team's previous global game, a 2-0 win over Lebanon, being broadcast on television a day after the encounter. There is precedent for games played in North Korea with foreign opponents to have restrictions on live broadcasts.

The South Korean team arrived in the North Korean capital Monday afternoon, after stopping over in Beijing, and spent an hour working out on the artificial grass at the stadium.

"But we can overcome and play well, thinking it's better if the stadium is crowded than empty".

"But we can overcome and play well".

Players from the South were briefed by South Korean officials to leave their smartphones and laptop computers in Beijing, as well as bring back all Nike uniforms and equipment they take into the North, in light of the sanctions.

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It's "the most complex tour undertaken by The Duke and Duchess to date, given the logistical and security considerations". He also appreciated the royal couple for holding interaction with young Pakistanis, including schoolchildren.

Pyeongyang has also not allowed attendance by any South Korean fans, worldwide media or even foreign tourists.

South Korea lead the North Koreans on goal difference at the top of Group H with both countries on seven points, one point more than Lebanon who defeated Sri Lanka 3-0.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shake hands at the truce village of Panmunjom ahead of their first summit in April 2018.

First, the USA asked North Korea to promise that it would hand over all nuclear weapons and materials in its possession and completely dismantle facilities related to nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and ballistic missiles. Yang Moo-jin, a professor at Seoul's University of North Korean Studies, said he was confident this was the first time. The entire stadium is expected to be empty or filled with only North Korea fans only. South Korea host North Korea in the return fixture on the penultimate matchday on June 4, 2020.

The big name in the North Korea line-up was that of Han Kwang-song, the 20-year-old who joined Cagliari in 2017 and became the first North Korean to play in Serie A soon after. The games were initially scheduled as home and away, but North Korea rejected the idea of hoisting the South Korean flag and playing the South Korean anthem on its soil.

Past year saw a flurry of sports diplomacy between the two Koreas, which fielded a joint ice hockey team and marched together at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. But we will have the latest or hopefully the result of the match on our later newscast.

Last year, athletes and officials marched together at the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

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