Figure skaters Ryom Tae-Ok and Kim Ju-Sik became the first North Koreans to qualify for next year's Winter Olympics in South Korea on Friday, in what could be a significant step for the "Peace Games" following months of nuclear tensions.
The Ryom, 18, and Kim, 25, could become the first North Koreans to compete at an Olympics hosted by South Korea. North Korea boycotted the 1988 Seoul Games.
"I was very emotional at the end because I was very pleased with our performance, and I'm very grateful to our coaches," said Kim.
Much of the fact the tension on the Korean peninsula has risen in recent weeks as North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump exchanged war-like threats and insults over the North's nuclear and missile development program.
The North has accused Trump of declaring war after he warned Kim's regime would not last if he persisted in threatening the United States and its allies, having earlier warned North Korea would be totally destroyed in such an event.
Finally, the news will be welcomed on both sides of the Korean border, after South Korean President Moon Jae-In previously urged the International Olympic Committee to help North Korea compete in Pyeongchang.
There’s no doubt the skaters are eager to compete in PyeongChang in 2018.
About the Author
Anusha Batra is a Sports Journalist with Sportsflashes who lives in Delhi with expertise in Badminton, Tennis and Figure Skating. She is a die-heart fan of Brazilian footballer Neymar Jr. She believes that sports serve as a tool to break down any social barriers. She loves to spend her weekends by playing badminton.