09 March, 2018
But after lengthy negotiations Thursday, the Korea Paralympic Commitee (KPC) said there would be no joint march as the North "cannot accept the fact that it is not allowed to display Dokdo in the unification flag during the Games". The 10-strong Team of three Paralympians and seven support staff become the latest additions to an expected global contingent of 670 Para athletes from 45 countries, gathering to compete across six Para sports.
The decision was made after "a day of amicable and positive discussions between the two NPCs in the Paralympic village", he added. But many South Koreans are unaware of the Games, and just days before the opening ceremony a poll showed only about a third of people knew when the Paralympics would begin.
KPC President Lee Myung-ho is said to have had another meeting with North Korea's Paralympic delegation chief Kim Mun-chol, who heads the Central Committee of the Korean Federation for the Protection of the Disabled, but the two parties were unable to reach an agreement.
The North had wanted disputed islands to be put on a unified flag but the South disagreed. To be able to lead Canada into the Opening Ceremony is a wonderful thing.
The IPC Governing Board in January endorsed a proposal for South and North Korea to march together during the ceremonies of the PyeongChang Paralympics.
Two competitors - both of them taking part in cross-country skiing - along with four observer athletes and 18 officials crossed the land border north of Seoul before heading for the venues.
North Korea overture seen as tiny step on rocky, unpromising road
Moon's office is expected to hold a media briefing on the outcome of the visit later Tuesday. Though on Monday the Pentagon said they were "cautiously optimistic " about the talks.
Bach praised the inter-Korean dialogue that took place through the Olympics, saying, "I would like to congratulate the two governments for using this Olympic momentum to drive talks forward on a political level".
The skier admitted his competitive spirit may show itself when he walks into Pyeongchang Stadium on Friday.
Stefan Kuerten, Director EBU Sport says, "We are very proud of our longstanding association with the IPC and the Paralympic Games and it is great to once again see such interest in PyeongChang 2018".
"We have the world's best athletes, world-class facilities, and thousands of spectators filled with passion who are ready to witness sporting greatness on the snow and ice".