“Mush” replaces MASH north of Korea’s DMZ

South Korean dogs and handlers will cross the border next month for the first time since the 1950-53 Korean War for a dogsled championship in North Korea, organisers said Tuesday.The Korea Federation of Sleddog Sports said three years of efforts to win approval from the North had borne fruit and the event would be held from March 15-17 at the scenic Mount Kumgang resort on the east coast.”When we visited there for an inspection for the first time in 2005, every North Korean guide or soldier we came across asked the same question — ‘Why the hell do you want to do a thing like this?'” it said on its website.North Korean officials late that year told the federation it could hold the event — but would not be allowed to bring any dogs.Federation spokesman Lee Hong-Joo said officials finally gave the green light on condition the South Korean dogs get anti-rabies injections — a demand already fulfilled.”Unification and things like that are not our concern,” Lee told AFP, saying they hope eventually to stage the championships at other places such as Mount Paekdu or the Kaema Plateau.Dogsled events on the highest mountain and the most famous plateau on the peninsula would be “fantastic,” he said, and next month’s event could pave the way for them.Some 40 South Korean teams including 70 dogs will compete in three events including a one-dog 450-meter, two-dog 1.1 km and four-dog 2.1 km sprints.

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