SEOUL, July 5 (Reuters) – The South Korean government on Friday authorised the North Korean women’s soccer team to enter the South to take part in the East Asian Cup amid fresh attempts to ease tensions between the political rivals, its Unification Ministry said.
The approval comes as the two Koreas, which remain technically at war under a truce that ended their 1950-53 conflict, plan to hold talks on Saturday on a jointly run industrial park that was once a symbol of reconciliation.
“The government on Friday authorised the visit of the North Korean women’s soccer team which will be participating in the 2013 East Asian Cup,” the ministry said in a statement.
It will be the first time in more than four years that a team representing the North visits the South. The team will fly to Incheon from Beijing.
The championship runs from July 20 to 28 in Seoul, and in Hwaseong to the south of the capital. South and North Korea, China and Japan will contest the women’s finals.
(Reporting by Jack Kim; Editing by Peter Rutherford)