• Kyodo

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North Korean delegates attended a welcome ceremony at the athletes’ village for the Winter Asian Games on Wednesday.

Nine North Korean officials were present at the ceremony held near the Aomori prefectural government office in steady snowfalls and tight security, three days before the games officially kick off.

“We are grateful to all the people who have given us a warm welcome,” North Korean delegation chief Ri Tong Ho said. Ri said he has high expectations from the women’s ice hockey team in the hunt for a medal, but did not give any further prediction on his country’s performances at the games.

None of the 29 North Korean athletes on the official entry list appeared at the village ceremony, one day after they arrived in the northern Japan prefecture hosting the fifth Winter Asian Games.

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