SEOUL, July 21 (UPI) — North Korea offered to send athletic coaches to train sports teams in Pakistan, but Pakistan apparently turned down the offer.
Kim Tae Sop, the North Korean ambassador to Islamabad, met with Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Riaz Hussain Pirzada to strengthen bilateral relations, Pakistan’s Express Tribune reported Thursday.
Kim told the Pakistani official that he wanted to “strengthen cooperation in the sports sector.”
Kim then offered to bring North Korean table tennis players, wrestlers and taekwondo masters to Pakistan.
The North Korean envoy also promoted Pyongyang’s athletes and said they had won gold medals in “various international competitions.”
Using euphemisms, Pirzada said there are also many outstanding athletes in Pakistan and appeared to turn down the offer, Radio Free Asia reported.
North Korea is under the heaviest sanctions yet in its history, and its diplomatic corps has been assigned to raise foreign currency for the regime.
In late April, North Korean diplomats were caught importing alcohol into Pakistan that far surpassed quotas.
That incident was not the first time North Korean diplomats were apprehended for illegal alcohol into the Islamic republic.
In April 2015, North Koreans in Karachi were caught selling whiskey and beer inside Karachi’s upscale Defence Housing Authority.
In January 2013, North Korean diplomats were caught selling alcohol to local restaurants and international school employees. They sometimes delivered the goods using North Korean Embassy vehicles.