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History in the making: North Korea to host South Korea in Pyongyang World Cup qualifier

History in the making: North Korea to host South Korea in Pyongyang World Cup qualifier
North and South Korea will go head to head in World Cup qualifying, with the North Korean capital of Pyongyang set to host their near neighbors for the first time in North Korea for almost 30 years.

The governing body of football in Asia, the AFC, confirmed that the October 15 tie between the two sides had been requested by North Korea to take place in their capital, in their 50,000-seater Kim Il-Sung Stadium.

Tensions between the two nations remain, despite recent attempts to improve the uneasy relationship between the pair. Officially, they remain at war following their 1950-53 conflict, but there have been signs of unity through sport in recent years.

A unified Korean team was entered into the women's ice hockey tournament at the 2018 Winter Olympics, while the footballing authorities in the two nations are believed to be interested in joining forces to host the 2023 Women's World Cup finals.


However, recent rocket tests emanating from north of the border have risen tensions again, as potential alliances have come under strain once more.

The two nations were drawn together in the second round of Asian qualifying for the 2022 World Cup finals and will compete with Lebanon, Turkmenistan and Sri Lanka in Group H.

The countries last faced each other in a soccer international in Pyongyang in 1990 and although they were drawn together in qualifying ahead of the 2010 World Cup, North Korea's home games against their neighbors were played in Shanghai, China instead.