Posted with permission from AFP
Organisers have Winter Olympics admitted ticket sales have been slower than expected, with international concern North Korea's nuclear weapons programme dampening enthusiam. GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP / Mike Stobe

Winter Olympic chiefs Thursday unveiled the official schedule of the 2018 Pyeonchang Games in South Korea, saying the programme would help turn around sluggish ticket sales.

Organisers have admitted sales have been slower than expected, with international concern over North Korea's weapons tests dampening enthusiam.

The 2018 Pyeongchang Games will take place in a country with a limited winter sports tradition and far from the core markets of Europe and North America -- making local attendance crucial to ensuring grandstands are full.

Since online ticket sales opened on September 5, 263,000 tickets have been sold, with 72,000 in South Korea and 191,000 overseas.

But the vast majority remain available, with 1.18 milion seats available for the two-week event in February.

Organisers hope to sell at least 1.07 milion and said the competition schedule now posted on the PyeongChang 2018 website would help build excitement.

"Spectators can now see which sports will take place on which day, and the specific timing of the session. This will help in the planning of their Olympic journey and give them the opportunity to buy tickets", said Lee Hee-Beom, president of the PyeongChang Organizing Committee.

A spokeswoman for the committee, Lee Jie-Hye, said the schedule would help attract fans in large numbers.

Games chiefs said Pyeonchang would feature a host of new medal events, including "snowboard big air", "speed skating mass start" and "curling mixed doubles".

"This takes the total of gold medal events to 102 – making it the largest number of events ever contested at an Olympic Winter Games to date," organisers said.