North Korea readying marathon not Armageddon

SEOUL Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:00pm IST

Related Topics

SEOUL (Reuters) - Having threatened to bomb the United States and warned foreigners to leave South Korea due to an impending thermonuclear war, North Korea said on Wednesday it was readying for a marathon to celebrate its founder's birthday.

The North's state news agency said a big contingent of foreign runners was expected from countries including Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Ethiopia as well as 600 North Koreans at the April 14 race, which is recognised by the International Association of Athletics Federations.

"I think enthusiasm for the upcoming tournament is running high among local marathoners and their coaches as never before," the KCNA news agency cited Ham Chang-hyok of the Sports Ministry as saying.

This is the 26th time the Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon, named after a hill revered for its association with the country's founding hero, Kim Il Sung, has been held.

The men's event was won by Ukrainian Oleksander Matviychuk last year and North Korean Kim Mi-gyong won the women's event.

It is not known if North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, whose portly frame would appear to suggest he is not a keen runner, would attend the event.

Kim is noted for his love of basketball and recently hosted former Chicago Bulls star Dennis Rodman in the capital, Pyongyang.

The anniversary of the birth of Kim Il Sung, the grandfather of the current leader, is on April 15 and is usually marked which a big military parade. (Reporting by David Chance; Editing by Robert Birsel)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Cinema

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Horror Role

Horror Role

From 'Bates Motel' to 'Ouija,' Olivia Cooke finds breakout in horror.  Full Article 

Tokyo Film Festival

Tokyo Film Festival

'Big Hero 6' to the rescue at new-look Tokyo film festival.  Full Article 

Book Talk

Book Talk

Richard Branson on leadership, telling stories.  Full Article 

A Minute With

A Minute With

Shailene Woodley on teen sex, violence and Marvel.  Full Article 

Bad Decision

Bad Decision

UK lawmakers slam police over Cliff Richard house search.  Full Article 

Court Case

Court Case

'Jersey Shore' star pleads not guilty to tax fraud, trial set.  Full Article 

Broadway Debut

Broadway Debut

Keira Knightley to appear on Broadway in 2015 in 'Therese Raquin'.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage