INCHEON, South Korea, Jan. 25 (Korea Bizwire) – North Korea is expected to send two athletes to the upcoming PyeongChang winter Paralympic Games, following its decision to participate in the multi-sport event, which will be held in the South, Seoul’s sports minister said Thursday.
“I expect two North Korean athletes to attend the PyeongChang Parlympics. Their participation will help the event organizers hold the Paralympic Games more peacefully,” Do Jong-whan, minister of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, told reporters at the training center of the KoreaParalympic Committee located in Icheon, some 80 kilometers southeast of Seoul.
In inter-Korean talks held last week, the North Korean government announced its plan to dispatch the delegation to the PyeongChang Winter Paralympics, which will run from March 9 to 18.
It will be the first time for North Korea to participate in the Winter Paralympics, though it has attended two Summer Paralympics, in 2012 and 2016.
But the minister said details have not yet been decided.
“We’ve not yet made contact with North Korea at the working-level,” said Do. “The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) may give entry berths to North Korean athletes. We are planning to hold working-level meetings with the North side after the IPC makes such a decision.”
The IPC will hold an executive committee meeting in Bonn, Germany, over the weekend to discuss ways to grant Paralympic wild card spots to North Koreans.
22 North Korean athletes will compete in the Feb. 9-25 PyeongChang Winter Olympics in figure skating, ice hockey, alpine ski and cross-country skiing.