N.Korea to Take Part in Asian Para Games for 1st Time

Ri Bun-hui (left) poses with a South Korean participant in the athletes village in London on Aug. 27, 2012, one day before the opening of the 2012 London Paralympics (file photo). Ri Bun-hui (left) poses with a South Korean participant in the athletes' village in London on Aug. 27, 2012, one day before the opening of the 2012 London Paralympics (file photo).

North Korea will take part in the Asian Para Games for the first time. The North submitted the application, the organizing committee of the 2014 Incheon Asian Para Games said Wednesday. 

The Asian Para Games started as the Far East and South Pacific Games for the Disabled in 1975. They were renamed at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games after the Asian Paralympic Committee was established in November 2006.

The North only recently started appearing in the arena of international para games. It sent a delegation without athletes to observe the 2010 Guangzhou games and a delegation that observed the 2012 London Paralympics as an associate member of the International Paralympic Committee.

The North earned full membership of the IPC in November last year. For this year's para games in Incheon which start their weeklong run on Oct. 18, the North is set to send a 30-men delegation including sports officials and athletes -- four table tennis players, three swimmers, one archer and one track-and-field athlete.

Ri Bun-hui, who leads the North Korean team, is quite well-known here as she won a victory as a member of a unified Korean table tennis team in the 1991 World Table Tennis Championships.

The South is considering accommodating the North Korean athletes for free.

englishnews@chosun.com / Sep. 04, 2014 10:00 KST