Officials from the Korea 2022 FIFA World Cup bid have claimed the violence presently sweeping the region will have no impact on its campaign.
North Korea fired dozens of artillery shells at Yeonpyeong, a South Korean island adjacent to its coast, yesterday.
Four people – two military, two civilian – were killed during the attack, which UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon subsequently branded one of the “gravest incidents” since the end of the Korean War.
Pictured: Smoke billows from houses on Yeonpyeong island after the North Korean artillery barrage
A further 18 people were injured in the assault, which South Korea branded “unacceptable”. Following talks president Barack Obama has said the United States stands “shoulder to shoulder” with South Korea.
In response the North accused Seoul of driving the peninsula to the “brink of war” with “reckless military provocation”.
Magic of the Cup
Despite the global ramifications of the conflict, Korea 2022 believes it will have little impact on its bid to host the FIFA World Cup.
“The incident will not affect our bid,” read a statement.
“In fact, the tensions on the Korean Peninsula are all the more reason why we should promote peace and reconciliation now and in the future.
“Sport is one area where exchanges should continue despite political or military conflict, and is a means through which tensions can be reduced.
“We must try this when all other methods fail.
“With our bid for the 2022 World Cup we hope to create a lasting legacy of peace in the world’s last divided country.”
Perhaps more saliently, Korea 2022 pointed out World Cup in 2022 is 12 years away, with the regional situation in north-east Asia likely to be quite different.
Whatever the impact of the latest developments, Korea – and its rivals – don’t have long to wait now, with the vote to decide the holders of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups scheduled for December 2nd.