World Taekwondo President Chungwon Choue has revealed the governing body has still not received a promised invitation to send its Demonstration Team to the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) World Championships in North Korea’s capital Pyongyang.
In June, Choue and ITF counterpart Ri Yong-son of North Korea discussed the prospective performance of the World Taekwondo Demonstration Team at the ITF World Championships, scheduled to take place from September 15 to 21.
The meeting was held in South Korea’s capital Seoul and took place during the 2017 World Taekwondo Championships in Muju.
In what was described as a "show of taekwondo unity and sportive goodwill", a North Korean demonstration team from the ITF performed alongside the World Taekwondo Demonstration Team during the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2017 World Taekwondo Championships.
But Choue, here in the United Arab Emirates’ capital to attend the International Paralympic Committee General Assembly, said World Taekwondo is still waiting for an official invitation to the ITF World Championships with just a week until the event begins.
"To this date, we have not received the official invitation, but we will wait until the last minute, so that this historic visit will serve as an occasion where sport truly can contribute to reconciliation and peace," Choue told insidethegames.
"My firm belief is that the Olympic sport of taekwondo, like other sports, can truly contribute to the promotion of peace worldwide and especially on the Korean Peninsula."
On the last day of the 2017 World Taekwondo Championships, Choue confirmed that a verbal agreement had been reached with the ITF for the two organisations’ demonstration teams to perform during next year’s Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang.
He said a written agreement for the Pyeongchang 2018 performance was due to be signed during the ITF World Championships.
It would be subject to approval from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Pyeongchang 2018 organisers.
Choue had been wanting to attend the 2017 IOC Session, scheduled to take place in Peru’s capital Lima from September 13 to 16, but instead will travel from the UAE to South Korea in the hope that the ITF invitation arrives.
World Taekwondo is currently the only taekwondo body recognised by the IOC.
But the ITF is the older body having been founded in 1966 by Choi Hong Hi in Seoul.
Following his exile from South Korea by the Park Chung-hee administration, Choi moved to Canada and established the ITF headquarters in Toronto, before moving them to Vienna in 1985.
North Korea's sole IOC member Chang Ung was elected President of the ITF after Choi's death in 2002, but was replaced by Ri in 2015.
In August 2014, Choue and Chang signed a Protocol of Accord during the Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing.
One year later, a 22-member ITF demonstration team, including 13 North Koreans, performed at the Opening Ceremony of the World Taekwondo Championships in Russian city Chelyabinsk.
Last week, the IOC and Pyeongchang 2018 revealed they have contacted world leaders, including United States President Donald Trump, to try to reassure that tensions with North Korea should not stop people attending next year's Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.
There is widespread concern that people are deciding against travelling to South Korea following recent instability.
Tensions increased once again last Tuesday (August 29) following the firing of a ballistic missile from North Korea over Japanese territory.
The North then claimed to have tested a hydrogen bomb.