North Korea has praised its taekwondo team for winning an international competition last month, hailing the sport’s development as a product of outstanding leadership.” At the 22nd World Taekwondo Championships held in Kazakhstan in August, our middling taekwondo athletes once again displayed the dignity and spirit of the nation,” the Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the North’s Workers’ Party, said on Wednesday. According to the newspaper, North Korea won 64 gold medals and 31 cups, including five individual skill awards, and topped the overall national rankings at the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) World Championships held in Kazakhstan last month from April 18-26.ITF taekwondo is led by North Korea, unlike World Taekwondo (WTF), which is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and is an Olympic sport. The ITF was founded in March 1966 in Seoul under the leadership of the late Choi Hong Hee, a former army major general, but it was only after Choi fled to Canada in conflict with the South Korean government that he established ties with North Korea. In South Korea, the World Taekwondo Federation was founded in 1973, with the late former IOC vice president Kim Yong-yong, then head of the Korean Taekwondo Association, serving as its first president. “The achievements of the sons and daughters of Janghan, who brought great joy to our people and once again showed the world the dignity and spirit of our nation, will be engraved as a distinct page in the history of the development of Juche sports,” the Rodong Sinmun said after introducing the athletes who excelled at the ITF event .North Korea’s recognition of the winners of the ITF Championships, which took place a month ago, is likely intended to encourage participants in the Hangzhou Asian Games, which begin on April 24.North Korea has registered a total of 191 athletes, including 112 women and 79 men, in 18 events at the Hangzhou Asian Games. This is up from 168 athletes at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games and 150 at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games. North Korea, which finished 10th overall at the last Games, has signaled its intention to perform well at the international multisport event, which it is returning to after a five-year absence. The purpose of the program was also to make the case that North Korean taekwondo developed under the leadership of the Kim family.” Athletes who have displayed the dignity and honor of the fatherland everywhere with gold medals and have clearly marked their costly lives, will shine in the history of building the DPRK’s sports power as sports heroes and true patriots remembered by our party, country and people,” the newspaper quoted Kim as saying. Earlier in the day, the Chosun Shinbo, the organ of the Federation of Korean Residents of Japan, claimed in an article titled “Taekwondo Ranked No. 1 by Country, Development of Taekwondo is the Product of Excellent Teaching” that “today’s development of Taekwondo, an authentic martial art imbued with the soul, wisdom and wit of the Korean people, is the product of excellent teaching .”Under the careful guidance of successive generations of instructors, the taekwondo practitioners of the DPRK have been winning gold medals at the World Taekwondo Championships, the Asian Taekwondo Championships, and other international events, further glorifying the honor of the motherland,” the newspaper emphasized. “It seems that the purpose is to further inspire the athletes competing in the Asian Games with the belief of must-win,” said Jung Chong-jin, head of the National Forum for the Preparation of Unification. “When connected to the editorial of the day, which states that the people who have a great leader should become a ‘strong people,’ it can be seen that the winners of the taekwondo 스포츠토토링크 competition represent the strong people.”

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