North Korea has withdrawn from the Tokyo Olympics due to a coronavirus epidemic that shattered Seoul’s hopes of using the event to improve inter-Korean relations and revive nuclear talks.
The decision to miss the Games, which began in July, was announced by North Korea’s Olympic Committee on March 25 on a website run by the country’s sports ministry, citing the need to protect athletes from a global health crisis.
The withdrawal decision coincided with the deterioration of inter-Korean relations, which were under additional pressure North Korea’s recent missile launch And the stagnation of nuclear talks between Washington and Pyongyang.
On Tuesday, Seoul’s unification ministry regretted Pyongyang’s decision, saying it hoped the Olympics would “further enhance peace and reconciliation between the two Koreas.”
North Korea competed in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. The North Korean dictator, Kim Jong Un, sent a delegation led by his sister, Kim Yoo-jung, accompanied by hundreds of red-clad North Korean cheerleaders who captivated audiences around the world.
At the Pyongyang Olympics, the two Korean athletes gathered under the unified flag at the opening ceremony to take the field for the first joint Olympic team in women’s ice hockey.
The Olympics led to a historic historic summit between Dinte Kim and then-US President Donald Trump, where the North Korean leader promised to deny his weapons arsenal.
However, the talks have been postponed. Kim was involved in a relationship with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Washington has refused to ease sanctions against Pyongyang.
Kim has continued to develop nuclear weapons technology and rejected the latest U.S. effort when the Biden administration completed a review to determine North Korea’s policy.
Analysts say a change in North Korea’s position is unlikely in the near future – due to epidemics, sanctions, flood damage and a combination of Kim’s economic policies. His economic plight.
North Korea has insisted it is free of the coronavirus, but outside experts are skeptical of its claim because it has isolated thousands of people who have shown signs. Pyongyang has shut down land, sea and air routes and restricted internal traffic, describing its antivirus efforts as a “matter of national existence.”
Kim Ja-chun, a professor at Sogang University and an adviser to the former government, said: “It is difficult to expect any progress in inter-Korean relations and nuclear talks because Biden has not been able to lift sanctions and Kim has continued to push for nuclear weapons.”
“North Korea is not Biden’s top priority even though its economy is in a really bad position and it is not clear how long the situation can last.”
North Korea is the first country to withdraw from Tokyo in 2020, marking allegations of corruption in the bidding process, sexual harassment scandal involving its former president, and the latest push in the Games over allegations of a one-year moratorium on Kovid-19? .
Seiko HashimotoThe head of Tokyo 2020, the national broadcaster, told NHK that he had learned about North Korea’s withdrawal from the morning news. “Neither the International Olympic Committee nor the Japanese Olympic Committee has spoken out against the decision,” he said.
“Participating in the Olympics at the invitation of the IOC. As the organizing committee, we are still working to provide a safe and secure game for each country present. “
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