DPRK athletes to arrive in S Korea later Thursday for Winter Olympics

Updated 2018-02-01 13:45:01 Xinhua

Athletes from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) will come to South Korea late Thursday by plane to participate in the South Korea-hosted Winter Olympics, Seoul's unification ministry said.

Unification Ministry Spokesman Baek Tae-hyun told a regular press briefing that the DPRK's athlete delegation was scheduled to arrive at the Yangyang International Airport in South Korea's east region at about 5:45 p.m. local time (0845 GMT).

The DPRK delegation will come together with South Korean skiers, who had trained for two days with DPRK athletes at the DPRK's Masikryong Ski Resort, the spokesman said.

The plane carrying the South Korean and the DPRK athletes will take off from the Kalma airport in the DPRK's east city of Wonsan.

The DPRK athlete delegation, composed of 10 athletes, three coaches and 18 supporting personnel, will be led by Won Kil-u, the DPRK's vice minister of physical sports.

The DPRK athletes include three skiers, three cross country skiers, two short track speed skaters and two pair figure skaters.

Twelve DPRK athletes already arrived at South Korea last week for a joint women's ice hockey team, the first unified Olympic team between the two Koreas.

Meanwhile, an advance team of the DPRK's art troupe will come by land to South Korea on Feb. 5. The remaining members of the DPRK orchestra will cross the inter-Korean land border the following day.

The 140-member orchestra from the DPRK was scheduled to hold concerts in Gangneung, South Korea's east city, on Feb. 8 as well as in South Korea's capital Seoul on Feb. 11.

The DPRK art troupe will go back home on Feb. 12, according to Seoul's unification ministry.

South Korea will host the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games in its eastern county of PyeongChang. The winter sports event will kick off on Feb. 9, continuing to run through March.

During the high-level inter-Korean dialogue in January, the DPRK agreed to send its athletes, cheerleaders, musicians and a demonstration team of Taekwondo, a traditional Korean martial art to the winter sports event.

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