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North Korea misses figure skating deadline for Olympics

By Emily Pacenti
North Korea misses figure skating deadline for Olympics
North Korea's Ryom Tae-ok (L) and Kim Ju-sik (R) perform during the pairs' short program of the ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Helsinki, Finland, on March 29. File Photo by Mauri Ratilainen/EPA-EFE

Dec. 2 (UPI) -- North Korea has missed a deadline to confirm Olympic participation after the only North Korean athletes to qualify so far secured a place for the Pyeongchang games in late September.

The Korea Skating Union said Thursday that pairs skaters Ryom Tae-Ok, 18, and Kim Ju-Sik, 25, missed the Oct. 30 International Skating Union deadline to register for the 2018 Winter Games.

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By taking sixth place in the Olympic qualifier Nebelhorn Trophy event in September, the pair earned a slot for North Korea to participate in the Olympics.

It is up to the North Korean Olympic Committee to confirm the spot.

The ISU said the International Olympic Committee, which has repeatedly promoted its support for North Korean participation in the games, could still add the pair to the roster.

If not, the spot would go to Japan as of Dec. 21.

The ISU said it has had no communication from North Korea.

Choi Monsoon, governor of Changown province in South Korea, said in April that a North Korean sports ministry official told him the nation would send athletes to the games in Pyeongchang.

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The Olympics begin Feb. 9.

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