North Korean figure skaters arrive in Taipei for Four Continents competition

The Four Continents contestants see the competition as a warm-up match for the Winter Olympics next month

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- The North Korean figure skatinging duo Ryom Tae-ok and Kim Ju-sik, who will compete in South Korea's PyeongChang Winter Olympics next month, arrived in Taiwan on Monday for the International Skating Union (ISU) Four Continents Figure Skating Championships.

Ryom, 18, and Kim, 25, are North Korea’s best-known skaters and have been paired up for three years now. They have risen in standing to be ranked 36th in the world, and have won a handful of competitions, including bronze medals at the 2017 Asian Winter Games.

The pair were the first athletes from North Korea to be qualified for the Winter Olympics, after the ice on between the two Koreas was broken before the 2018 Games. They are now expected to compete in South Korea's PyeongChang Winter Olympics next month.

The Pyongyang born North Korean skating duo qualified for for the Winter Olympics in September, but missed the deadline to register in October. However, the International Olympic Committee extended the deadline for North Korea's participation at the Games in Pyeongchang.

The contestants of the ISU championships in Taipei are top figure skaters from all around the world and half of them will be going to the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. According to the Chinese Taipei Skating Union secretary-general Eddy Wu, the contestants see the championships as a warm-up match before the Winter Olympics next month.