The torch for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics will reach the host region of Gangwon Province next week, organizers said Monday.
Starting in Cheorwon County on Sunday, the torch will travel through 18 major cities and towns in the eastern province before reaching the host county of PyeongChang for the Feb. 9 opening ceremony of the country's first Winter Games. The Olympics will run through Feb. 25.
The combined distance covered by the torch relay, which started on Nov. 1, will reach 2,018 kilometers and include around 7,500 torchbearers.
Park Hyun-jong, CEO of BHC Chicken, left, and AKMU`s Lee Su-hyun carries the PyeongChang 2018 Torch in Sinsa-dong, Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)
The Olympic torch carries the flame that was lit at the Temple of Hera in Greece in October, and it has been touring major cities across the country, including Jeju, Busan, Gwangju, Daejeon and Incheon. It is currently traveling through the capital city of Seoul.
During its trip in Gangwon Province, the torch will visit Hwacheon, Goseong and other towns that are adjacent to the North Korean border.
The visit is significant as the 2018 Winter Games are set to play a crucial role in reconciliation efforts between the two Koreas, especially as Pyongyang has insisted on sending an athlete delegation to the South.
Organizers said the torch will be carried by various methods, including hot air balloon and zip line.
Lee Hee-beom, head of the Olympic organizing committee, said his organization will make efforts to promote Gangwon Province's various attractions to the world through the torch relay. (Yonhap)