North Korea Welcomes Foreign Advertisers, Players, and Spectators to Attend the International Table Tennis Federation’s Pyongyang Open

PRESS RELEASE (2017-07-04):

PYONGYANG, North Korea (DPRK) – The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) 2017 Pyongyang Open is inviting international advertisers, foreign spectators, qualified umpires and professional players to participate in the upcoming table tennis tournament from August 2-6, 2017.

As these international events have become less frequent, this tournament presents a rare opportunity to participate in an international sports engagement event held in North Korea. The Judo World Junior Championships, which was scheduled to take place in Pyongyang in October, was canceled following international pressure due to recent tensions.

This ITTF tournament is hosted by the DPRK’s Ministry of Sport in collaboration with the Table Tennis Association of DPRK and Canadian NGO, Paektu Cultural Exchange (PCE).

Applications for advertising during this televised international table tennis event are currently being reviewed and accepted through PCE. Event title sponsors, equipment sponsors, small and large stadium banner advertising, and other publicity opportunities are currently possible.

“Historically, advertising in North Korea has not been permitted in public places, with a few exceptions. But in recent years there has been a steady rise in domestic consumerism that has resulted from a rise in the production and competition of locally produced goods. So now we are seeing more and more advertising in the form of informational product print outs and small banners which are displayed and distributed in shops and restaurants throughout Pyongyang and other major cities” says Michael Spavor, Director of Paektu Cultural Exchange.

“We are collaborating with our North Korean partners and looking at creative and ethical ways to encourage economic engagement. One method we are working on is through promoting advertising at these upcoming international events” says Spavor.

“Also, sponsored equipment and proceeds from advertising for this event will go towards needed training and medical equipment for North Korean Paraplegic athletes. This is somewhat of a test run, so advertising is very affordable right now and we already have plans to attract more support and funding for future international advertising,” added Spavor.

Interested spectators are invited to participate this ITTF related program from August 3-9, 2017. During the event, spectators will have the opportunity to interact and participate in training workshops with DPRK amateur, and youth table tennis players. After the tournament, will have the opportunity meet and receive training and from North Korea’s top table tennis professionals who competed in the Pyongyang Open. The application deadline for spectators is July 18, 2017.

ITTF is also seeking for interested table tennis players who will play for grand prizes totaling a minimum of $35, 000 (USD). Application and registration deadline for players is July 13, 2017.

Umpires interested in participating in this competition will be offered round-trip airfare from Beijing, a daily stipend, accommodation, and transportation. Interested umpires are asked to contact the organizing committee as soon as possible.

“This trip is a unique opportunity for anyone to take part in an interactive sports program involving DPRK youth athletes and Paralympians and receive professional training from DPRKS’s top table tennis players,” said Michael Spavor, PCE’s director.

The Pyongyang Open will feature the whole range of professional athletes’ categories including men’s, women’s and mixed singles and doubles for both under and over 21 years of age.

Table tennis has gained a lot of attention and popularity in the country since DPRK’s Kim Jong-Won and Kim Hyok-Bong won the gold medal at the 2013 World Championships in France.

The ITTF is the only sports organization that has achieved membership from every country in the world, proving that friendly competition is possible across the world through these table tennis initiatives.

Media, individuals, and organizations interested in televising or covering the tournament, or wishing to sponsor the event can register online at contact PCE directly.


Additional Information

Event Name: ITTF 2017 Challenge Series: Pyongyang Open

About Paektu Cultural Exchange

Paektu Cultural Exchange is a non-profit organization facilitating sustainable cooperation and cross-cultural exchanges involving sport, tourism, business and trade with the DPRK.


For more information about participating in the ITTF 2017 Challenge Series: Pyongyang Open:

For Spectators:

For Advertisers:

For Table Tennis Players and Umpires:

Press Release:


If you are a member of a news or media organization and you would like to request an interview, to attend the event or would like more information, please contact us here.


About Paektu Cultural Exchange

Paektu Cultural Exchange is a non-profit organization facilitating sustainable cooperation and cross-cultural exchanges involving sport, tourism, business and trade with the DPRK.











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