Seoul unsure if North Korea will air World Cup qualifier

In this Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019, photo, South Korea national soccer team's Son Heung-min, center, warms up during a training session ahead of Asian zone Group H qualifying soccer match against Sri Lanka for the 2022 World Cup at Hwaseong Sports Complex Main Stadium in Hwaseong, South Korea. (Hong Ki-won/Yonhap via AP)

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea said Thursday it's unclear if North Korea will allow a live broadcast when it hosts the South's national soccer team for a World Cup qualifier in Pyongyang next Tuesday.

Seoul's Unification Ministry, which deals with inter-Korean affairs, said the North has been ignoring South Korean calls for discussions on broadcasting the game live and allowing South Korean spectators to attend.

"There has been no particular progress on the issues of (sending South Korean) cheering squads or providing broadcast coverage, so they won't be easy," since there's only a few days left until the game, said a ministry official, who spoke on condition of anonymity during a background briefing to reporters.

The North in recent months has severed virtually all diplomatic activity and cooperation with the rival South amid a standstill in nuclear negotiations with the United States, while ramping up missile tests in an apparent effort to pressure Washington and Seoul.

South Korea's Korea Football Association said last month it had been informed by the Asian Football Confederation that North Korea will host its Group H game against the South as scheduled.

The game would be the first competitive meeting between the national men's teams in the North Korean capital, although the North hosted the South for a friendly there in 1990.

During qualification for the 2010 World Cup, North Korea chose to host games against South Korea in Shanghai, refusing to hoist the South Korean flag and play the South Korean anthem on its soil.

But South Korea's women's team played in Pyongyang in an Asian Cup qualifier in 2017, and North Korean TV broadcast an edited version of the game days later.

People also read these

China blocks online broadcast of computer go match

May 24, 2017

Censors blocked China's internet users from seeing Google's online broadcast of a national go...

China controls information about ailing Nobel...

Jul 12, 2017

As China faces mounting pressure to let imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo go...

China clamping down on use of VPNs to evade Great...

Jul 20, 2017

China clamping down on use of VPNs to evade internet controls

China's ever-tighter web controls jolt companies,...

Sep 10, 2017

China's campaign to stamp out use technology that allows web surfers to evade its internet filters...

Model Gigi Hadid pulls out of Victoria's Secret...

Nov 17, 2017

Supermodel Gigi Hadid says she will not be walking the Victoria's Secret fashion show in Shanghai...