Visiting U.S. basketball players had a joint training in Pyongyang on Wednesday with sportsmen of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), marking the first public exchanges since the team set foot on the isolated country.
National Basketball Association retiree Dennis Rodman, together with players from U.S. Harlem exhibition basketball team, exchanged match tactics, training mode and technical movements with teenager players from the DPRK.
Xinhua learned from sources that there would be a match on Thursday between the two sides. Foreign embassies and non-government organizations here have been invited to watch.
DPRK officials declined to reveal whether their top leader Kim Jong Un, widely believed to be a big basketball fun, would watch the game.
One Pyongyang citizen expressed her surprise upon the U.S. players’ visit, as tensions between the two countries are running high due to Pyongyang’s recent missile launching and underground nuclear test.
Local media have given timely coverage of the visit that started on Tuesday, which is different from the case of Google delegation that came to Pyongyang last month. The visit was kept quiet until they flew back to the U.S..
Rodman is scheduled to guest a TV show for HBO here and will leave earlier than other delegation members, who are set to visit Panmunjom on the border with South Korea before leaving on March 5th.
Harlem team said the DPRK is their 122nd visiting stop, after the invitation from the DPRK Sports Ministry came to them one month ago.
U.S. basketball player Bull Bullard said Tuesday that they were expecting to have “great exchanges with the Korean kids and families, with big smile and handshakes.”