February 01, 2018 13:44
South Korean junior skiers were treated to a 19-course lunch at Masikryong Ski Resort in North Korea on Wednesday, but the North Korean skiers ate separately and had to make do with more frugal fare.
Many of the young South Koreans said they were impressed by the quality of the food.
After lunch, skiers took the lift up the hill for training. North and South Korean skiers shouted, "We are one!" during a group photo session but did not speak to each other once the picture was in the can.
There is a rest area with a capacity of 200 people at the top of the slope. Chong Myong, who is in charge of the North Korean team, said, "We get hundreds of visitors per day in winter. Many families come here on a day trip."
South Korean skiers were generally satisfied with the facilities. "There are not many things lacking here compared to resorts in South Korea," said one of them, Park Je-yun.
The 24 South Korean skiers who went there are mostly in the reserve team, but they were not wearing their country's flag.
"The government reportedly ordered the Korea Ski Association to tell athletes not to wear clothes that bear the South Korean flag," said an official. Athletes were also asked not to bring laptops or mobile devices or books that would upset North Korea.
"South Korean skiers usually wear a uniform with numbers that also bears the flag, and North Koreans wear numbers and portraits of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. Both sides agreed not to sport them here" the official said. "There was no agreement other than that."
There was a free skiing session from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. so the athletes could get used to the slope and snow. Alpine skiers from both Koreas trained together on Wednesday, and they will have a friendly match on Thursday. Cross-country skiers will also train together.
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