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North Korea threatens to pull out of Asian Games to be held in South Korea

Published on Jul 18, 2014 12:40 PM
A picture released by South Korea's Unification Ministry shows Kwon Kyung Sang (right), secretary general of the Incheon Asian Games Organising Committee, greeting Son Kwang Ho (left), vice-chairman of the North Korean Olympic Committee, before their meeting at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) dividing the two Koreas on July 17, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea threatened on Friday to pull out of the Asian Games due to take place in rival South Korea later this year, accusing the South of plotting to block its athletes from taking part.

A rare meeting between the two sides on Thursday ended with no agreement on the size of the North's contingent, which is expected to include about as many cheerleaders as athletes.

Local media said the North had proposed sending 350 athletes and the same number of cheerleaders to the games, scheduled for Sept 19 to Oct 4 in the port of Incheon. The numbers were larger than those earlier provided by Pyongyang.

The North's official KCNA news agency said negotiators from the South, acting at the behest of President Park Geun-hye's office, had made "absurd assertions" at the talks in the truce village of Pammunjon on the heavily militarised border.

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