North Korea has refused to participate in the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
“After reviewing a proposal by committee members to protect our athletes from a health emergency due to a coronavirus, the North Korean Olympic Committee has discussed and decided not to participate in the 32nd Olympic Games,” the country’s authorities said in a statement.
It is also reported that Pyongyang’s refusal to participate in the Olympics means that Seoul will now have no opportunity to use the games to intensify negotiations with the DPRK, as it did during the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in early 2018.
As a reminder, the Tokyo Olympics were supposed to take place in the summer of 2020, but they were postponed until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The sporting event is scheduled to begin in Tokyo on July 23.
The organizing committee of the 2020 Olympics decided to hold the competitions without foreign spectators. It was expected that an exception would be made for about 500 international volunteers.