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North Korea May Open Only 18-hole Course to Public

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SEOUL, South Korea -- Golfing enthusiasts travel to remote corners of the globe to play on exciting, exotic courses. Now, they might have the opportunity to tee off in the world's most reclusive nation, North Korea.
 
Pyongyang has agreed to a proposal for hundreds of golfers to play on the North's only 18-hole course. However, Seoul has yet to give its formal approval.
 
Moon Kyong-hwan, head of a Seoul-based marketing company, said he plans to bring 500 South Korean and Japanese amateur golfers to North Korea for a tournament in September.
 
The course near the capital, Pyongyang, was built in the mid-1980s by Korean businessmen based in Japan. The North has two nine-hole courses and a driving range.
 
'Golf may be the most capitalist sport,' Moon said. 'It will help improve the image of North Korea if it invites a large number of outsiders to play.'
 
The sport has failed to become popular in North Korea, where millions are poor and costs are prohibitive.
 
'Usually, I don't see many golfers on the course,' said South Korean businessman Park Sang-kwon, who regularly travels to Pyongyang.
 
Most of its users are foreign businessmen who pay $75 green fees, he said.
 
Part of the profits from the trip will be donated to help children in the impoverished communist state, Moon said.
 
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