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Page last updated at 15:25 GMT, Wednesday, 19 May 2010 16:25 UK

North Korea 'will not' travel to Zimbabwe pre-World Cup

Jong Tae Se and Ri Kwang Chon
North Korea will not now be coming to Zimbabwe

North Korea will not be preparing for the World Cup finals with a visit to Zimbabwe, ending fears over a potentially controversial trip.

The Zimbabwe government had suggested the Asian side would stop in the country on their way to South Africa.

That sparked protests in Matabeleland, where rights groups say a North Korean-trained army unit killed thousands of people during the 1980s.

But the government now say they have heard nothing from the North Koreans.

"I will check on the progress of the North Korea team but I don't think that they will stop in Zimbabwe," Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi said.

Sports Minister David Coltart added he no longer expected the North Korea team to come.

The country's football association, Zifa, said it had never invited the team to come and train.

North Korea are expected to play Greece, DR Congo and Nigeria in the build-up to the World Cup - they are in Group G along with Brazil, Ivory Coast and Portugal.

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see also
North Korea to camp in Zimbabwe
07 Apr 10 |  World Cup 2010
North Korea qualify for World Cup
17 Jun 09 |  Internationals
World Cup venues
05 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010

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