The North Korean Olympic Committee decided in a meeting “not to participate in the 32nd edition of the Games, to protect athletes from the global health crisis generated by Covid-19”, indicated the information service of the Ministry of Sports.
The last Olympic participation from the isolated and nuclearized North Korean country was at the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and contributed to the diplomatic rapprochement between the two neighbors in 2018.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent sister Kim Yo Jong to these games, in which South Korean President Moon Jae-in took the opportunity to promote negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington that resulted in two meetings between Kim and the American president, who at the time was Donald Trump.
Pyongyang’s announcement puts an end to Seoul’s hopes of transforming the postponed Tokyo Games into a new opportunity to reactivate the currently stalled peace negotiation process.
The announcement, which dates from this Monday, published on the website of the Ministry of Sports, indicates that it is a decision of the National Olympic Committee that took place on March 25.
The state news agency KCNA had previously reported on the meeting, but without mentioning the decision.
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