Special permission has reportedly been requested for an exemption to be made to the rule banning North Korean citizens from Japan so their athletes can compete at the Asian Winter Games taking place in Sapporo in February.
According to the Kyodo News Agency, North Korea has filed registrations to compete in men's short track speed skating along with male and female figure skating events.
The ban on North Koreans entering the country was introduced earlier this year following a fourth nuclear test and a long-range ballistic missile rocket launch.
It appears Sapporo 2017 must now request special permission from Japanese authorities.
"We're discussing our response with related organisations, including the Japan Sports Agency," an Organising Committee official was quoted as saying by Reuters.
"We'd like to seek a decision from the Government.
"The number [of athletes] is not large as the number of sports is limited."
There is a precedent for an exception as the North Korean women's football team were allowed to play an Olympic qualifier in Osaka in February.
North Korea also participated at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon after fears they would not do so in an event taking place in South Korea.
Sapporo 2017 is due to take place from February 19 to 26.
Around 2,300 athletes and officials from across Asia are set to compete.
Over 30 athletes from Australia are also set to participate, but will not be eligible to win medals.