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North Korea, First Country To Quit Tokyo Games For Fear Of Covid-19

North Korea will not participate in the Tokyo Olympics to protect its athletes from a possible contagion by Covid-19. The decision, agreed according to reports from within the country on March 25, was communicated on Tuesday and marks the first absence of the communist country since the boycott of the Seoul edition in 1988, which was added to the Los Angeles edition of 1984. It is the first country in the world to renounce the appointment that will begin on July 23.

The measures in North Korea to protect itself from the pandemic are extreme with the borders closed at first and, later, requiring very long quarantines from the few foreigners who visit the country. In a statement, with propaganda overtones, North Korea has communicated that it has no positive cases.

Last week the wish leaked that the two Koreans wanted to present a joint bid for the 2032 Olympics, which seem to be given in advance to Brisbane (Australia). It should be remembered that relations between Japan and communist Korea have been strained in the last 50 years and that, two weeks ago, the Kim Yong Un government fired two missiles over the Sea of   Japan, despite the prohibition contained in the United Nations resolutions.

On a sporting level, North Korea entered the Olympic movement at the 1972 Munich Games, and has won a medal in its ten appearances. In Rio 2016 he added seven medals, with two golds, three silvers and two bronzes. She stands out mainly in wrestling and weightlifting, a sport in which the absence of Rim Jong-sim, Olympic champion in 69 kg in London and in 75 kg in Rio, favors the interests of Lydia Valentín, who has not been able to attend the European Championship, qualifying, for a gastroenteritis.

Japan avoids ruling on North Korea's decision

The Government of Japan and the organizing committee of the Tokyo 2020 Games avoided assessing the decision announced by North Korea not to attend the sports event scheduled for next summer due to the covid-19 pandemic.

The spokesman for the Japanese Executive, Katsunobu Kato, said at a press conference that North Korea's participation is a matter "to be coordinated between the organizing committee and the IOC", and that the government "is closely monitoring it." Kato also pointed out that the Executive of Japan "continues to make efforts to improve the situation, which includes measures against covid so that many regions and countries can participate in the Games."

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