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Pictures | Fri Oct 12, 2018 | 1:45am IST

Sports diplomacy in North Korea

Basketball players from China and North Korea compete during a visit by the sports delegation of China to North Korea at the Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Indoor Stadium in Pyongyang in this photo released October 9, 2018. KCNA via REUTERS

Basketball players from China and North Korea compete during a visit by the sports delegation of China to North Korea at the Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Indoor Stadium in Pyongyang in this photo released October 9, 2018. KCNA via REUTERS

Basketball players from China and North Korea compete during a visit by the sports delegation of China to North Korea at the Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Indoor Stadium in Pyongyang in this photo released October 9, 2018. KCNA via REUTERS
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North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un and former NBA basketball player Dennis Rodman hug in Pyongyang in this undated picture released March 1, 2013. REUTERS/KCNA

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un and former NBA basketball player Dennis Rodman hug in Pyongyang in this undated picture released March 1, 2013. REUTERS/KCNA

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un and former NBA basketball player Dennis Rodman hug in Pyongyang in this undated picture released March 1, 2013. REUTERS/KCNA
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Participants run in the International Association of Athletics Federations' (IAAF) 26th Mangyongdae Prize Marathon, held in conjunction with celebrations for the 101st birth anniversary of North Korean founder Kim Il-Sung, in Pyongyang, in this photo distributed April 14, 2013.  REUTERS/KCNA

Participants run in the International Association of Athletics Federations' (IAAF) 26th Mangyongdae Prize Marathon, held in conjunction with celebrations for the 101st birth anniversary of North Korean founder Kim Il-Sung, in Pyongyang, in this photo...more

Participants run in the International Association of Athletics Federations' (IAAF) 26th Mangyongdae Prize Marathon, held in conjunction with celebrations for the 101st birth anniversary of North Korean founder Kim Il-Sung, in Pyongyang, in this photo distributed April 14, 2013. REUTERS/KCNA
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Players of North Korea (L) and South Korea enter the field before their friendly soccer match, held by labor organizations of North Korea and South Korea, at the May Day Stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this photo released by Kyodo October 29, 2015. REUTERS/Kyodo

Players of North Korea (L) and South Korea enter the field before their friendly soccer match, held by labor organizations of North Korea and South Korea, at the May Day Stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this photo released by Kyodo October 29,...more

Players of North Korea (L) and South Korea enter the field before their friendly soccer match, held by labor organizations of North Korea and South Korea, at the May Day Stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this photo released by Kyodo October 29, 2015. REUTERS/Kyodo
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South Korean taekwondo athletes take part in a performance at Pyongyang Taekwondo Hall in this photo released April 3, 2018. KCNA/via Reuters

South Korean taekwondo athletes take part in a performance at Pyongyang Taekwondo Hall in this photo released April 3, 2018. KCNA/via Reuters

South Korean taekwondo athletes take part in a performance at Pyongyang Taekwondo Hall in this photo released April 3, 2018. KCNA/via Reuters
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North Koreans watch professional wrestling exhibition matches hosted by former pro-wrestler turned Japanese politician Antonio Inoki in Pyongyang, August 30, 2014. American rapper Pras Michel attended a wrestling match hosted by Inoki during a week-long trip of the country. The match featured former NFL linebacker Bob Sapp and martial arts displays from Korean and American fighters.  REUTERS/Kyodo

North Koreans watch professional wrestling exhibition matches hosted by former pro-wrestler turned Japanese politician Antonio Inoki in Pyongyang, August 30, 2014. American rapper Pras Michel attended a wrestling match hosted by Inoki during a...more

North Koreans watch professional wrestling exhibition matches hosted by former pro-wrestler turned Japanese politician Antonio Inoki in Pyongyang, August 30, 2014. American rapper Pras Michel attended a wrestling match hosted by Inoki during a week-long trip of the country. The match featured former NFL linebacker Bob Sapp and martial arts displays from Korean and American fighters. REUTERS/Kyodo
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Dennis Rodman takes part in a practice session with North Korean basketball players and other former NBA stars in Pyongyang, January 7, 2014. REUTERS/Kyodo

Dennis Rodman takes part in a practice session with North Korean basketball players and other former NBA stars in Pyongyang, January 7, 2014. REUTERS/Kyodo

Dennis Rodman takes part in a practice session with North Korean basketball players and other former NBA stars in Pyongyang, January 7, 2014. REUTERS/Kyodo
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North and South Korean skiing athletes take part in a training session at the Masik Pass ski resort in this photo released February 2, 2018. KCNA/via REUTERS

North and South Korean skiing athletes take part in a training session at the Masik Pass ski resort in this photo released February 2, 2018. KCNA/via REUTERS

North and South Korean skiing athletes take part in a training session at the Masik Pass ski resort in this photo released February 2, 2018. KCNA/via REUTERS
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Manuel Ott (R) of Philippines and Jon Kwang-ik of North Korea jump for the ball during their team's preliminary 2018 World Cup and 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifying soccer match at the Kim Il Sung Stadium in Pyongyang October 8, 2015.  REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

Manuel Ott (R) of Philippines and Jon Kwang-ik of North Korea jump for the ball during their team's preliminary 2018 World Cup and 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifying soccer match at the Kim Il Sung Stadium in Pyongyang October 8, 2015. REUTERS/Damir...more

Manuel Ott (R) of Philippines and Jon Kwang-ik of North Korea jump for the ball during their team's preliminary 2018 World Cup and 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifying soccer match at the Kim Il Sung Stadium in Pyongyang October 8, 2015. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
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North Korean military personnel escort the Olympic flame in Pyongyang April 28, 2008. REUTERS/Kyodo

North Korean military personnel escort the Olympic flame in Pyongyang April 28, 2008. REUTERS/Kyodo

North Korean military personnel escort the Olympic flame in Pyongyang April 28, 2008. REUTERS/Kyodo
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Former pro-wrestler turned Japanese politician Antonio Inoki (front 3rd L), former NFL linebacker Bob Sapp (rear L) and several professional wrestlers react during a news conference at a hotel in Pyongyang, August 28, 2014. REUTERS/Kyodo

Former pro-wrestler turned Japanese politician Antonio Inoki (front 3rd L), former NFL linebacker Bob Sapp (rear L) and several professional wrestlers react during a news conference at a hotel in Pyongyang, August 28, 2014. REUTERS/Kyodo

Former pro-wrestler turned Japanese politician Antonio Inoki (front 3rd L), former NFL linebacker Bob Sapp (rear L) and several professional wrestlers react during a news conference at a hotel in Pyongyang, August 28, 2014. REUTERS/Kyodo
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Participants cycle during the 2013 Nordic Ways Vatternrundan China-DPRK international cycling tourism festival in Rason, in this photo released September 23, 2013. Dozens of European cyclists rolled into the North Korean port town of Rajin for a two-stage race from China to North Korea. Clad in skin-tight shiny outfits and accompanied by a fleet of support cars, the 47 cyclists from Sweden, Germany and more than 10 other countries rode from China to the Wonjong border crossing to take on the 50-km (31-mile) road into Rajin. Rajin is one of two towns that make up the Rajin-Songbon, or Rason, special economic zone in the northeast corner of North Korea. REUTERS/KCNA

Participants cycle during the 2013 Nordic Ways Vatternrundan China-DPRK international cycling tourism festival in Rason, in this photo released September 23, 2013. Dozens of European cyclists rolled into the North Korean port town of Rajin for a...more

Participants cycle during the 2013 Nordic Ways Vatternrundan China-DPRK international cycling tourism festival in Rason, in this photo released September 23, 2013. Dozens of European cyclists rolled into the North Korean port town of Rajin for a two-stage race from China to North Korea. Clad in skin-tight shiny outfits and accompanied by a fleet of support cars, the 47 cyclists from Sweden, Germany and more than 10 other countries rode from China to the Wonjong border crossing to take on the 50-km (31-mile) road into Rajin. Rajin is one of two towns that make up the Rajin-Songbon, or Rason, special economic zone in the northeast corner of North Korea. REUTERS/KCNA
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Dennis Rodman takes part in a practice session with North Korean basketball players and other former NBA stars in Pyongyang, January 7, 2014. REUTERS/Kyodo

Dennis Rodman takes part in a practice session with North Korean basketball players and other former NBA stars in Pyongyang, January 7, 2014. REUTERS/Kyodo

Dennis Rodman takes part in a practice session with North Korean basketball players and other former NBA stars in Pyongyang, January 7, 2014. REUTERS/Kyodo
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Alicia Ashley of the U.S. (R) walks past North Korean soldiers before her super-flyweight division match of the World Boxing Council for Females (WBCF) against North Korean defending champion Ryu Myung-ok (not pictured) in Pyongyang October 21, 2005. Ryu succeed in defending her championship title with an unanimous decision at the 10th round title match. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Alicia Ashley of the U.S. (R) walks past North Korean soldiers before her super-flyweight division match of the World Boxing Council for Females (WBCF) against North Korean defending champion Ryu Myung-ok (not pictured) in Pyongyang October 21, 2005....more

Alicia Ashley of the U.S. (R) walks past North Korean soldiers before her super-flyweight division match of the World Boxing Council for Females (WBCF) against North Korean defending champion Ryu Myung-ok (not pictured) in Pyongyang October 21, 2005. Ryu succeed in defending her championship title with an unanimous decision at the 10th round title match. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
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South Korean weightlifter Lee Young-gyun (L) stands as compatriot Kim Woo-sik (C) receives his award on the podium during their medal ceremony as part of the Asian Cup and Interclub Weightlifting Championship in Pyongyang, September 14, 2013. History unfolded around two junior South Korean weightlifters in Pyongyang after their national anthem was played for the first time on North Korean soil. The North's official KCNA news agency reported that Kim Woo-sik and Lee Young-gyun were placed first and second in the Interclub Junior Men's 85kg category. They were the only lifters in that division. REUTERS/KRT via Reuters TV

South Korean weightlifter Lee Young-gyun (L) stands as compatriot Kim Woo-sik (C) receives his award on the podium during their medal ceremony as part of the Asian Cup and Interclub Weightlifting Championship in Pyongyang, September 14, 2013. History...more

South Korean weightlifter Lee Young-gyun (L) stands as compatriot Kim Woo-sik (C) receives his award on the podium during their medal ceremony as part of the Asian Cup and Interclub Weightlifting Championship in Pyongyang, September 14, 2013. History unfolded around two junior South Korean weightlifters in Pyongyang after their national anthem was played for the first time on North Korean soil. The North's official KCNA news agency reported that Kim Woo-sik and Lee Young-gyun were placed first and second in the Interclub Junior Men's 85kg category. They were the only lifters in that division. REUTERS/KRT via Reuters TV
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Players and coaches of Middlesbrough FC Ladies pose upon their arrival at the airport in Pyongyang September 18, 2010. The soccer team arrived in Pyongyang to play friendly matches on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the opening of diplomatic ties between North Korea and Britain, KCNA reported. North Korea and Middlesbrough have been inexorably linked since 1966 when the North Koreans famously beat Italy during the World Cup finals at the club's former Ayresome Park stadium. REUTERS/KCNA

Players and coaches of Middlesbrough FC Ladies pose upon their arrival at the airport in Pyongyang September 18, 2010. The soccer team arrived in Pyongyang to play friendly matches on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the opening of diplomatic...more

Players and coaches of Middlesbrough FC Ladies pose upon their arrival at the airport in Pyongyang September 18, 2010. The soccer team arrived in Pyongyang to play friendly matches on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the opening of diplomatic ties between North Korea and Britain, KCNA reported. North Korea and Middlesbrough have been inexorably linked since 1966 when the North Koreans famously beat Italy during the World Cup finals at the club's former Ayresome Park stadium. REUTERS/KCNA
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Athletes attend a torch-lighting ceremony for the 5th International Martial Arts Games on Chongchun Street in Pyongyang April 3, 2013.   REUTERS/KCNA

Athletes attend a torch-lighting ceremony for the 5th International Martial Arts Games on Chongchun Street in Pyongyang April 3, 2013. REUTERS/KCNA

Athletes attend a torch-lighting ceremony for the 5th International Martial Arts Games on Chongchun Street in Pyongyang April 3, 2013. REUTERS/KCNA
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North Korea's Kim Kwang-ok (R), champion of the bantam division of the World Boxing Council for Females (WBCF), competes with Mexico's challenger Yazmin Rivas at the championship title match in Pyongyang October 21, 2005. Kim succeeded in defending her championship title with an unanimous decision at the 10th round title match. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

North Korea's Kim Kwang-ok (R), champion of the bantam division of the World Boxing Council for Females (WBCF), competes with Mexico's challenger Yazmin Rivas at the championship title match in Pyongyang October 21, 2005. Kim succeeded in defending...more

North Korea's Kim Kwang-ok (R), champion of the bantam division of the World Boxing Council for Females (WBCF), competes with Mexico's challenger Yazmin Rivas at the championship title match in Pyongyang October 21, 2005. Kim succeeded in defending her championship title with an unanimous decision at the 10th round title match. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
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