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N. Korea to send 7 athletes to Asian Winter Games in Japan: report

All News 11:25 February 10, 2017

SEOUL, Feb. 10 (Yonhap) -- North Korea will send seven athletes to an upcoming continental winter sports competition in Japan, a pro-Pyongyang newspaper based in Tokyo reported Friday.

The Choson Sinbo said two figure skaters and five short track speed skaters will represent North Korea at the Asian Winter Games in Sapporo from Feb. 19 to 26.

The Chosun Sinbo -- a newspaper of Chongryon, a Tokyo-based organization of pro-Pyongyang Korean residents in Japan, is not the North's state media, but it serves as an unofficial mouthpiece for Pyongyang.

Earlier this month, Japan reportedly decided to allow entry to North Korean athletes for the Winter Asiad. Japan has imposed the entry ban on North Korean nationals in light of the country's nuclear tests and long-range ballistic missile launches, but will make a special exception for athletes.

The winter sports competition is expected to host some 2,000 athletes and officials, with South Korea sending 142 athletes.


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