Slovakia's Henrieta Farkasova wins first gold of Winter Paralympics

Owen Pick

The 2018 Paralympic Winter Games begin Friday with the opening ceremony in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Despite the historic announcement Thursday that President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un plan to meet and discuss nuclear weapons, not everything is always rosy in North Korea's new détente with the outside world.

The two Korean nations agreed to "respect each other's stance and march separately" following the flag disagreement, BBC reported. Marie racing to gold in the men's visually impaired downhill race.

North Korea said that it wanted the flag to show Dokdo, the island grouping at the centre of a diplomatic dispute between South Korea and Japan, while South Korea apparently wanted to have the unification flag without it so as not to politicise the event.

Unlike at last month's Olympics, where North and South Korean athletes walked under one united flag, the two countries could not strike a similar arrangement for the Paralympics opening ceremony.

The Paralympic Games 2018 will be held until March 18.

The 26-year-old former World Championship silver medallist had his leg amputated in Afghanistan eight years ago while serving with the British Army.

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Forty-eight different nations, plus a neutral Paralympic athletes team consisting of Russian competitors, entered the stadium in -5C temperatures.

But the disagreement is considered a minor sticking point after what has been a swift thaw between the neighbours, starting with North Korea's decision in January to participate in the Olympics.

The first official Paralympic Games took place in 1960, in Rome, Italy, with 400 athletes representing 23 different countries.

Most of the North's Olympic athletes also had humiliating finishes, and a hastily assembled joint women's ice hockey team lost every one of its five matches, scoring just twice while conceding 28 goals.

The North Korean athletes at the Games are two cross-country skiers, Kim Jong Hyon and Ma Yu Chol.

Team Japan athletes wave miniature flags during the opening ceremony.

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