Kim Jong-un launches tourism charm offensive... with sumo wrestling

Ian Johnston@montaukian
Wednesday 21 May 2014 11:00
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Antonio Inoki will organise the festivities (Picture: AFP/Getty)

“World-famous” wrestlers are getting ready to rumble in North Korea in a bid to promote international “peace and friendship”, the country’s state news agency has reported.

Antonio Inoki, currently a member of the upper house of Japan’s government and a former professional sumo wrestler, will be in charge of the organising committee for the tournament, along with a North Korean official, which will be held in the capital Pyongyang in late August.

He was trained by a wrestling hero in Japan, Rikidozan, who originally came from North Korea and has become a regular visitor to the country.

Rikidozan previously organised a pro-wrestling event in Pyongyang in 1995, which was said to have attracted 380,000 fans.

Supreme leader Kim Jong-un is believed to be eager to generate tourism, despite the Stalinist dictatorship's appalling human rights record, and has announced plans to create special trade and tourism zones and also unveiled its first luxury ski resort, aimed mostly at foreign tourists.

(Picture: AFP/Getty)

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