South Korea president Moon Jae-in opens Winter Paralympics

The South Korean Government has confirmed its intention to steadily phase out the country’s controversial grade system for disabled people

It followed comments by US Vice-President Mike Pence, who said in Tokyo on his arrival in Asia to attend the Opening Ceremony that they planned to introduce the "toughest and most aggressive" sanctions yet against North Korea.

In an opening address, International Paralympic Committee (IPC) president Andrew Parsons urged the Paralympians to "keep fighting, play fair, have fun and keep pushing your limits".

"It's nice", he said. "I don't think it'll feel close until we're finally into the faceoff for the first game and then we're finally underway". However, those athletes were allowed to compete under the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) banner.

Arendz said his preparation and training has gone well, including some recent races in Germany.

The North said that it wants the flag to show Dokdo. She competed at the 2014 Sochi Paralympics and won six medals during the 2016-2017 World Cup circuit.

"It really adds to the atmosphere".

Stephen Emt - A CT resident and graduate of UConn, Emt has been a member of Team USA for the World Wheelchair Championships since 2015.

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"It kind of shifts the attitudes of other people so that they can say, wow, the things that can be done, rather than look at what they can't do", Soulliere said.

Laurie Stephens - The Hamilton-Wenham and University of New Hampshire graduate is the most decorated athlete on the team, with six medals to her name (including two golds) since her first Paralympic Games in 2006.

It is a turnaround from past year, when tensions soared as the North fired missiles that could reach the United States mainland and tested what it said was an H-bomb.In the stands of the Alpensia Biathlon Centre, spectators watching the North´s first Winter Paralympians welcomed their presence as a sign of improving ties, and said they hoped the rapprochement would last.

It will be the second Paralympics without a Russian team.

More than 500 athletes from 48 nations, plus the Neutral Paralympic Athlete (NPA) delegation (Russian athletes who have met criteria to compete without any link to their country) have made their way to PyeongChang with North Korea, Georgia and Tajikistan represented for the first time.

"We can not accept the flag in light of Japan's stance over the sovereignty of Takeshima and it is extremely regrettable", said Japan's Cabinet Secretary at a news conference, Japan Times reported.

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