NKorea to host Malaysia in soccer after diplomatic dispute

FILE - In this April 15, 2017, file photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves during a military parade in Pyongyang, North Korea, to celebrate the 105th birth anniversary of Kim Il Sung, the country's late founder and grandfather of current ruler Kim Jong Un. In the paranoid universe of North Korea, the feverish accusations it makes against its sworn enemies bear a creepy resemblance to its own misdeeds. Its latest claim of a South Korean and American plot to assassinate Kim Jong Un using biochemical weapons comes weeks after the North Korean leader’s estranged brother, Kim Jong Nam, was slain in a Malaysian airport. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File)

North Korea has finally been approved to host a 2019 Asian Cup qualifying match against Malaysia following political tensions between the countries

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — North Korea has finally been approved to host a 2019 Asian Cup qualifying match against Malaysia following political tensions between the countries.

The Asian Football Confederation says the game can go ahead in Pyongyang on June 8 after the Malaysian soccer federation confirmed it was not subject to "government travel restrictions."

Diplomatic tensions escalated amid investigations into the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's estranged half-brother in Kuala Lumpur. Both countries imposed travel bans on the other's citizens.

The original March 28 qualifier was postponed and a neutral venue sought.

The game opens both teams' program in a four-nation Asian Cup qualifying group that also includes Lebanon and Hong Kong.

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