A TAEKWONDO champion from Didcot is keeping one eye on the worsening situation in North Korea as she gears up to contest a major championships in the country.

Willowcroft Community School teacher Kirsty Miller has been selected to represent England at the Taekwondo World Championships next week.

The event is taking place in the taekwondo-obsessed North Korean capital Pyongyang and Ms Miller is hoping to build on the bronze medal she achieved at the last world championships in Bulgaria in 2015.

But the 26-year-old primary school teacher admits she can't help but be slightly distracted from her training by the ever-escalating situation in the country, where leader Kim Jong-un has been testing nuclear weapons.

She said: "I am really excited but of course also a little apprehensive given all the recent media coverage.

"I can't wait to go there and see what it is really like. I feel really lucky, not many people are given the opportunity to visit."

Several other countries have already pulled out of the championships because of security fears.

The Foreign Office currently advises against 'all but essential travel' to the country but Ms Miller says that the team has not yet received any official advice that they shouldn't go.

The team captain, who balances an extensive training programme with her full time teaching duties, has been a member of the England squad since 2007.

She is one of six fighters attending the competition, alongside her father and instructor Gary Miller.

An official North Korean government guide has been allocated to the group and they will be escorted to and from the stadium and encouraged not to go out on their own.

Ms Miller says that she does not yet know if she will be able to contact friends and family back home with any news of success because of internet controls in the dictatorship.

She said: "I've never been anywhere before where I have no idea what it will be like before I get there.

"You obviously can't go on Trip Advisor to look at the hotels we are staying at.

"If the situation was to escalate and the government started advising British nationals not to go, we would have to cancel. It is going to be a tense week waiting to see if we make it over."

As the sport is not nationally funded Ms Miller needs to raise £2,000 to get to the competition and has launched a crowdfunding campaign on the website JustGiving.

She says that these championships in particular are costing her more money because of the visas and special travel insurance needed.

Supporters had donated £550 as of Tuesday afternoon.

You can make a donation by visiting the page at justgiving.com/crowdfunding/help-kirsty-to-korea