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S. Korea hails N. Koreans' PyeongChang Olympic qualification

2017/10/01 10:51

SEOUL, Oct. 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's presidential office on Sunday welcomed the qualification by North Korean figure skaters for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, saying it is expected to help pave the way for the communist neighbor's participation into the games to be held in the South early next year.

The duo -- Ryom Tae-Ok and Kim Ju-Sik -- secured a ticket for the games during a competition at the Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf, Germany, earlier this week.

"(We) welcome the creation of the opportunity for North Korea to take part in the PyeongChang Olympics," a senior official at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said. "We hope more North Korean athletes, not just the figure skaters, will have a chance to join (the games)."

   Another Cheong Wa Dae official pointed out it's up to the North's regime whether it will send a delegation to PyeongChang, an eastern town of the South.

With the qualification, he added, North Korea has "cause" for coming to South Korea for the sports event, not related to political or military situations.