North Korean figure skaters qualify for 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea

    Ryom Tae-Ok and Kim Ju-Sik of North Korea compete during the pairs free program at the Figure Skating-ISU Challenger Series in Oberstdorf, Germany, on September 29.

    Story highlights

    • Pair are first North Korean athletes to qualify for 2018 Winter Olympics
    • Winter Olympics will be held in South Korea from 9-25 February

    (CNN)In the small Bavarian ski-town of Oberstdorf, figure skaters Ryom Tae-Ok and Kim Ju-sik became the first North Korean athletes to qualify for South Korea's 2018 Winter Olympics -- a development that could have diplomatic implications as well as sporting ones.

    The pair -- who perform to the music of The Beatles and have been training in Canada -- produced an impressive free-skate performance to secure one of the final Olympic spots up for grabs at the Nebelhorn Trophy in Germany in September.
      Ryom, 18, and 25-year-old Kim finished 15th at the World Championships last season and spent the summer training in Montreal under French coach, Bruno Marcotte.
      Their qualification will be welcome news to South Korea's President Moon Jae-in, who earlier this month told CNN that North Korean participation in PyeongChang will "provide a very good opportunity for inter-Korean peace and reconciliation."