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North Korea to Withdraw from Tokyo Olympics


North Korea to Withdraw from Tokyo Olympics

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Amid the global pandemic outbreak last year, North Korea, known for its extreme privacy and isolation, significantly cut off its connections with the rest of the world to shield itself from the virus. This strategy seems to have been effective, as there have been no reports of major COVID-19 outbreaks in North Korea. However, world health experts remain doubtful about the country’s claims of zero cases. Whether true or not, North Korea is determined to prevent the virus from entering its borders at all costs, even if it means opting out of the Olympics.

As per a report from a state-run sports outlet in North Korea, the nation has decided not to send its athletes to participate in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics due to concerns about the risk of COVID-19 exposure. This marks the third time in recent decades that North Korea has decided to skip the Olympics. In the past, they boycotted the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and the 1988 Seoul Olympics for different reasons.

Meanwhile, the Tokyo Olympics, after extensive discussions and rescheduling, are slated to take place from July 23 to August 8, followed by the Paralympics from August 24 to September 5. The Olympic Torch Relay has already commenced, starting on March 25, with Japanese athletes carrying the torch across the country. However, concerns about a potential resurgence of COVID infections have led to challenges even in the Torch Relay, with Osaka deciding to forgo their part to avoid large gatherings.

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