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North Korea May Debut in Winter Paralympic Games

North Korea May Debut in Winter Paralympic GamesNorth Korea May Debut in Winter Paralympic Games

The International Paralympic Committee has invited North Korea to participate in Pyeongchang 2018, which would be the country’s first ever Winter Paralympic Games, February 3.

The National Paralympic Committee of North Korea has been offered two bipartite slots for athletes to compete in Para Nordic skiing, Insidethegames.biz reported.

Should NPC of North Korea participate in the games, they will march together with athletes from NPC of South Korea under a unified flag at the opening ceremony on March 9.

The two North Korean athletes who have received bipartite slots from the IPC and World Para Nordic Skiing are Jonghyon Kim and Yuchol Ma.

Both made their international debuts at last month’s World Cup in Oberried, Germany, with funding from the Asian Paralympic Committee and the Agitos Foundation.

Bipartite invitations are granted on a discretionary basis by the IPC and the respective international federation.

The IPC claims to have been working with the Pyeongchang 2018 Organizing Committee, the NPCs of South and North Korea and government officials for a number of months to ensure North Korea’s participation at Pyeongchang 2018.

The country has competed previously at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Summer Paralympic Games having sent one and two athletes respectively.

Last week, the IPC Governing Board endorsed a proposal for North and South Korea to march together during the Pyeongchang 2018 Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

IPC President Andrew Parsons is now optimistic that NPC of North Korea will accept the IPC’s invitation to participate in the games.

“Now that we have offered two bipartite slots to North Korean athletes I am extremely hopeful that the country will compete at its first Paralympic Winter Games this March,” he said.

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