The head of the world taekwondo body led by North Korea will come to Seoul next month to discuss uniting the two world governing bodies of the traditional Korean martial art run separately by the two Koreas, officials here said Wednesday.
Chang Ung, the head of the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF), will be here from April 6 to 9, leading a group of 49 North Korean taekwondo officials and players, officials of the ITF Korea Corp. said.
It would be the first visit to South Korea by Chang, who is also the North Korean member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), since August 2003, when he attended the Daegu Summer Universiade.
While in Seoul, Chang will likely reaffirm North Korea's support for the bid by the city of Pyeongchang in South Korea to host the 2014 Winter Olympics and discuss ways to unify the ITF and the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), led by Choue Chung-won of South Korea.
Heads of the two groups signed an agreement in Doha, Qatar in December to form a coordinating body to discuss the administrative and technical merger of the two groups. The first meeting of the coordinating commission is scheduled to be held in Beijing for two days from March 31.
The North Korean taekwondo players are set to hold demonstrations in Chuncheon on April 7 and in Seoul the next day.
The WTF was inaugurated in Seoul in 1973 and now has a membership stretching to 179 national associations, while the ITF was launched seven years earlier, also in the South Korean capital.
ITF founder Choi Hong-hi was later exiled to Canada and named the North Korean IOC member as his successor in 2002 prior to his death.
Seoul, March 21 (Yonhap News)