North Korea to make its Paralympics debut

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North Korea to make its Paralympics debut

North Korea will make its debut in the Olympics for the disabled when it takes part in this summer’s Paralympics in London, a pro-Pyongyang newspaper said yesterday.

Chosun Sinbo, a Japan-based paper that reflects Pyongyang’s thinking, said the North was stepping up preparations for the Paralympics, which will take place from Aug. 29 to Sept. 9, two weeks after the Olympics close.

Athletes and coaches left for Beijing on May 3 to take part in joint training with Chinese counterparts until early next month, the newspaper said on its Web site.

The North will field disabled athletes in various sports including table tennis, swimming and athletics, it said.

North Korea joined the International Paralympics Committee in March this year, said an official of South Korea’s Korea Sports Association for the Disabled.

The North said in January it would compete in at least seven events in the main Olympics - women’s football, weightlifting, marathon, wrestling, table tennis, archery and shooting. A sports official said at the time it could also send contestants in sports such as boxing, judo and diving.

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