Seoul - The international
tension that divides the two Koreas
has not spared even sports, vector ( along with music) of several attempts at reconciliation
between the two nations. The governments of Seoul
and Pyongyang have
in fact blocked the attempt of Hyun Jung-hwa - director of the Korea Table
Tennis - and Lee Boon-hee, secretary general of the North Korean athletes with
disabilities from meeting. The two had played (and won) in a single team the
1991 table tennis world championships (see photo).
Before the attempted meeting, Hyun had also tried to send a commemorative ring "a sign of friendship" to Lee: this attempt also failed, but the Northern athlete said he received the gift "with his heart." The charge to deliver the ring was given to Shin Yeong-sun, a missionary who works with Purun Namu, an international exchange association of Koreans abroad.
Shin, who works alongsideo Lee in the Paralympic Village in Beijing, met the athlete who said: "I miss Hyun and I hope to see him again one day. I got received his ring in my heart." According to Shin the South Korean government put a halt to the meeting: "They stopped the meeting and closed off all routes. I decided not to deliver the ring because of this tension, but I hope that soon things will change."