According to Yonhap:
North Korea will enter the Paralympic Games in London this year, a pro-North newspaper said Wednesday, marking the first time the communist country will compete in the games for the physically disabled.
North Korean Paralympic athletes left for Beijing last Thursday and will hold joint training sessions with their Chinese counterparts until early June, according to the Chosun Sinbo, a Tokyo-based newspaper seen as a mouthpiece of the Pyongyang regime.
The athletes will stay at a sports village in the Chinese capital and conduct training and competitions in table tennis, swimming and athletics, among other sports, it said.
The London Paralympic Games are set for Aug. 29 to Sept. 9.
The paper reported in December that North Korea was preparing to join the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the competition’s global governing body, in order to take part in this year’s event.
That attempt ended in failure, but a South Korean official at the Korea Sports Association for the Disabled said North Korea won provisional membership of the IPC in March.
“Provisional member countries are also given the right to take part in the Paralympics,” the official said on customary condition of anonymity. “This is the first time North Korea has won the right to participate.”
A country’s past participation in international competitions is a key indicator of its qualifications for joining the Paralympics, according to the Chosun Sinbo.
“(North Korean) athletes will gain that qualification through this trip to China,” it said.
North Korea is a frequent participant in both Summer and Winter Olympic Games. The country has so far competed in eight Summer Games and won 10 gold and 41 total medals.
It will also compete at the upcoming London Olympics set for July 27 to Aug. 12.
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N. Korea to join Paralympics for first time