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U.S. basketball delegation jump-starts DPRK visit

English.news.cn   2013-02-26 18:13:29            

PYONGYANG, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- A delegation of U.S. basketball players landed here Tuesday for a week-long visit to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

The 13-member Harlem Globetrotters delegation, headed by retired National Basketball Association player Dennis Rodman, was welcomed by several DPRK senior sports officials.

"All the players are so excited to visit the country, and it will be a great fun in interacting with the Korean people," Rodman told Xinhua at the airport.

The DPRK is the 122nd stop among the countries and regions the Harlem team has visited, said player Bull Bullard, noting that the exhibition basketball team received the invitation around one month ago.

"We are expecting to have great exchanges with the Korean kids and families which we always love, no matter South or North," Bullard added.

Asked about the timing of the visit and the U.S.-DPRK relationship, Bullard said, "As far as basketball I know, we will show our skills and the magic of basketball as much as we can."

"We are going to have big smiles and many handshakes, and lots of entertainment with them," he said.

Besides sport events, the delegation will visit Panmunjom on the border with South Korea and the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang before leaving on March 5, according to the DPRK foreign ministry.

When asked about whether top leader Kim Jong Un, believed to be a big basketball fun, would watch a match between the two sides, a DPRK official said: "It is only a communication between the two countries' sports fields... We will discuss the detailed schedule tonight."

Some journalists from the HBO TV network came with the delegation to cover the trip, while foreign journalists based in Pyongyang were only allowed to meet the delegation at the airport.

Editor: Yang Lina
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