North Korea Will Not Send Cheerleaders To The PyeongChang Paralympics

Sally Jung, Feb. 28, 2018, 9:44 a.m.

North Korea will send a delegation and athletes next week to the Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang that last from March 9 to 18, the first time the North has ever taken part in Winter Paralympics. The two Koreas reached the agreement in talks at the truce village of Panmunjom on Tuesday, the Unification Ministry said.

North Korean officials said they will send a four-member delegation and 20 athletes but no cheerleaders. Apparently the cheerleaders the North sent to the Olympics fell short of the propaganda coup Pyongyang had been hoping for.

In earlier talks on Jan. 17, North Korea had mooted sending some 150 delegates, athletes, cheerleaders, and reporters to the Paralympics.

It is not clear whether Ri Pun-hui, a former table tennis player and head of North Korea's Paralympics association, will be included in the delegation. Ri and Hyun Jung-hwa of South Korea formed a unified Korean team to win the women's team event in the 1991 World Table Tennis Championships in Chiba, Japan.

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