Olympic flame stops in Seoul on journey to Pyeongchang


SEOUL: Cheering crowds welcomed the Olympic flame to a freezing Seoul on Saturday, where the torch will be paraded for four days before making its way to Pyeongchang for the start of the Winter Games. The outlook for next month’s sporting extravaganza has brightened since North Korea confirmed its participation, lifting security concerns over the South’s nuclear-armed neighbour.

The North has agreed to send an unknown number of athletes to the Games, expected to be accompanied by a high-level delegation, supporters, observers and an art troupe.

South Korean freestyle figure skater Park Hee-Jin raised the flame high before a crowd of hundreds who were gathered in the capital’s Sangam district in a ceremony held just weeks before the event on February 9-25.

Fans unfurled banners wishing the Olympics success accompanied by the rousing sound of traditional Korean drummers, while others took pictures with their phones. —Agencies