President Moon Jae-in on Friday extolled the PyeongChang Winter Games for setting the stage for a detente in which "the denuclearization and peace of the Korean Peninsula is becoming a reality."
In an address to a reception just hours before the opening of the Paralympics in the eastern alpine resort, Moon also asked participants to warmly welcome North Korea to its first Winter Paralympics.
"South and North Korea agreed to hold a summit in late April and U.S. President Trump promised today to meet North Korea's Chairman Kim Jong-un in May," Moon said. "The denuclearization and peace of the Korean Peninsula is becoming a reality."
He said North Korea's participation and the world's support for inter-Korean peace have made the PyeongChang Olympics last month a huge success and a tremendous gift for South Korea.
"I believe the Olympics and Paralympics in PyeongChang and our endeavors for peace will help create a new world peace," he said.
The 12th Winter Paralympic Games kicked off its 10-day run on Friday night with a colorful opening ceremony. It is the largest Winter Paralympics ever, with 570 athletes from 49 nations participating.
Moon promised that the PyeongChang event will deliver the Paralympic spirit of equality, harmony, peace and people's ability to rise above limitations.
"I wish for the PyeongChang Paralympics to imbue people who suffer disabilities and lost hope with new hope and vigor and give new courage to all of us who dream of a more equal world." (Yonhap)