Laurie Stephens - The Hamilton-Wenham and University of New Hampshire graduate is the most decorated athlete on the team, with six medals to her name (including two golds) since her first Paralympic Games in 2006.
As well as North Korea, Georgia and Tajikistan are taking part for the first time in the nine-day Games.
The Poles kick off their Olympic campaign on Saturday, competing in Alpine skiing and the biathlon.
In addition to the 48 nations, athletes from Russian Federation will also take part under the banner of "neutral Paralympic athletes" after their country failed to satisfy the International Paralympic Committee over doping concerns.
The $106m 35,000-seater stadium, which will be pulled down after the closing ceremony, appeared to be about two thirds full, and the crowd watched a ceremony consisting of traditional Korean dance, combined with modern music and blended with light shows.
She completed the course at the Jeongseon Alpine Centre in 1min 29.72sec, beating second-placed Millie Knight of Britain and her guide Brett Wild by 0.86sec.
Russian biathletes Ekaterina Rumyantseva, competing in women's standing, and Mikhalina Lysova, in the women's vision-impaired category, both won gold.
The first USA gold of these Paralympics was the first US gold in the biathlon, with Kendall Gretsch winning the women's 6km sitting biathlon, with teammate Oksana Masters capturing the bronze.
"We believe she is clean", he said.
He doesn't have medal goals for this year's event and just wants to ski the best races he can.
He did not give a reason but the North's athletes may not have been keen to march alongside a defector. The IPC had offered both countries the chance to march together under the same conditions as last month's Olympic Winter Games.
The 2018 Winter Paralympics or the XII Paralympic Winter Games, is an worldwide winter multi-sport event for athletes with disabilities that is scheduled to be held in Pyeongchang County, Gangwon Province, South Korea, from 9 to 18 March.
Friday's opening ceremony included several performers with disabilities-a drummer with a prosthetic arm and legs beat a giant traditional drum, and a choir of wheelchair-bound performers sang the South Korean national anthem.