Koreas’ labor unions meet to discuss football matches

SEOUL, Sept. 30 (Yonhap) — Officials from South Korea’s two umbrella labor union groups visited North Korea on Wednesday to discuss ways on holding their football friendly matches, government officials said.

Representatives from the Federation of Korean Trade Unions and the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions met with their North Korean counterparts in the North’s border city of Kaesong to set details over their football games, according to the Unification Ministry.

The South Korean labor union groups originally sought to hold football games among workers of the two Koreas in May. But the government rejected their bid at that time, citing its political nature.

Earlier, the North’s group on workers proposed to hold football matches of the two Koreas’ workers in Pyongyang next month.

Workers of the two sides previously had friendly matches in 1999 and 2007.

Jeong Joon-hee, ministry spokesman, said that officials from the two Koreas’ labor groups will discuss the timing and other details during their working-level contacts.

He said that if they reached an agreement on football matches, the government will take into account overall inter-Korean relations in approving related South Koreans’ visits to North Korea.

South and North Korea reached a landmark deal on Aug. 25 to ease military tension and promote civilian inter-Korean exchanges.