The Pyeongchange Paralympics are up and running

The Pyeongchange Paralympics are up and running

Kim Jong-hyon carries the flag of North Korea as he leads his teammates into the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, March 9, 2018.

The atmosphere of peace created around these Olympic Games could have its climax at the summit of presidents of the two Koreas, scheduled for next April, when they are expected to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and reunification.

The two proposals were approved on Thursday at the 123rd IKCF management and review committee.

The Paralympics in Pyeongchang begin Friday with the opening ceremony.

There are 567 athletes at the Games competing in 80 medal events across six sports: alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, ice hockey, snowboard and wheelchair curling. Neither are on the roster of Neutral Paralympic Athletes competing in the sport in Pyeongchang.

Seoul last month announced it would spend KRW2.86 billion (USD$2,640,324) on the visit of a 229-member North Korean cheering squad, a 137-member art troupe, a 35-member Taekwondo demonstration team, and 21 reporters to the South.

Among the flagbearers at the opening ceremony were many of those figures. The North said that not showing the islets on the flag hurts the pride of Koreans.

Neutral Paralympic Athletes enter the stadium
Neutral Paralympic Athletes enter the stadium

The Winter Paralympics were officially opened at a ceremony in Pyeongchang, South Korea on Friday.

North Korea asked that the Dokdo Islands, which Japan now claims and calls Takeshima, be included on the flag, according to BBC.

"Pride would not allow us not to display our territory", the North Korean side was quoted as having in a statement.

It will be the first meeting of its kind for more than a decade and the first since Kim took power in North Korea.

Fireworks explode as the Olympic cauldron is lit during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, March 9, 2018. He competes in the LL1 classification in both events.

The athletes are extraordinary, the competition fierce-as anyone who has ever witnessed the Paralympics will attest.

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