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Korea in the Handball world championship : Without a unit, a team, no reconciliation

Mr. Jong Bum-goo, how much are you interested in volleyball?

Personally, not so much. I like watching football. We South Koreans have in football is a good Tradition in the Win (laughs heartily)...

...we remember. Let us rather talk about something else: Why occurs in South Korea at the basketball world Cup with four North Korean players?

The Germans have also three times, a unified German team for the Olympic games is formed. But for us, things are much more serious than it was in Germany. Earlier, the inter-Korean relations were sharper, more acute and hostile. We had, until recently, little contact. Therefore, we place great value on this unit team.

In the last year, there was a remarkable political rapprochement between South and North Korea. What is the role of play, the Korean unit team at the winter Olympics in Pyeongchang played?

A very, very important role. By the end of 2017, there was a sharp war of words between the two sides. With Pyeongchang in February 2018, the spring came on once more. Without Pyeongchang, without the unity team in women's hockey this reconciliation would not exist in the wave. The Sport has paved the way for the policy.

What is the role of the total Korean Handball team?

There are three important aspects: the first is linked to the unit team in Pyeongchang again. And, although athletic in Handball between the two countries have a larger difference.

...South Korea has qualified for the world Cup, North Korea...

Nevertheless, we have set up this joint team. Secondly, the game takes place in Berlin. For most Koreans, Berlin is a Symbol of unity and the fall of the wall. Thirdly, you know who comes to the opening game? Federal President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier, interior Minister Horst Seehofer and IOC President Thomas Bach. And the former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, a special friend to Korea because he married a South Korean national.

Jong Bum-goo (64) since January of 2018, Ambassador of South Korea in Berlin. He studied in Marburg, political science, and sat up...photo: Promo

that Is, in the reverse conclusion: If South Korea would not play in the Handball world championship in Berlin in the opening game, but in a group in Munich – then it would not have given the unit team in Handball?

I'm not sure. In any case, the attention for South Korea would be much lower.

it Is actually also a Sport in the opening game on Thursday?

In any case. Although the Korean team is widely considered to be worse than the German team. But who knows, if we take, for example, the last football world Cup (laughs)...

...now you start again. There are in the football team's difficulties with the Integration of four new players?

The accent of the North Korean players is another. We have many English words in our language: Pass, Goalkeeper, Handball. In North Korea, there are your own words. Handball is there, for example, Song gu, literally translated, means: throw the Ball. The coach of the unit team told me that there is actually not a big Problem. Just with these words. Therefore, he says, rather than Pass now Yon gyol lake.

What anthem is played at the opening for the whole of Korea?

It will be a traditional song that is sung on both sides: Arirang. (hums it). It's easy, you can learn in an hour. I'm going to sing with my North Korean Ambassador colleagues. We have also formed a fan club of 100 people. North Korea has a share of 25 cards. The North Korean Fans are likely to come from Berlin and members of the Embassy.

How are the relations between South and North Korea at the Moment?

Very well. But there are limits to the approach. What North Korea needs economic cooperation with South Korea. But this requires the repeal of the current economic sanctions. And that can only be decided by the United States in direct negotiations with North Korea. It's complicated.

Video 08.01.2019, 15:29 Uhr01:25 Min.DHB-Team refers to world Cup quarters: 'The anticipation is just huge,'

What would be a success in the world Cup?

We would like to show the world that the two parts of Korea are, after 70 years of separation ready for harmony and peace. And I am of the opinion that the Western world, North Korea has been demonized too much. So far, the world is not ready to look at North Korea without prejudices. While I understand the spirit of the West: dictatorship, human rights violations and so on. But in North Korea 25 million people live. You are living through Isolation and sanctions, on their own way. If we don't demonize these people, could create an atmosphere for peace. North Korea could be a normal member of the international community. We want to help.

you now sound like the Ambassador of North Korea...

...it is in the interest of both countries to establish peace. South Korea enjoys more trust in the Western world, according to our experience, it means North Korea seriously with the course in the direction of peace. We are able to support.

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