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Seoul Bars Group From North Korean Festival

June 22, 1989|From Associated Press

SEOUL — South Korean authorities Wednesday refused to allow 40 Christian youths and newspaper reporters to attend a festival in North Korea, saying their participation would harm national interests.

The refusal confirmed an earlier ban on South Koreans taking part in the 13th World Festival of Youth and Students, scheduled July 1-8.

North Korea has invited about 500 South Korean students and dissidents to join in the sports, cultural and political event, attended mainly by students from Third World and Communist nations.

Seoul accuses Pyongyang of using the festival to dramatize its demand for the withdrawal of U.S. troops based in South Korea under a mutual defense treaty.

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