The President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach informed that North Korea has been suspended from the International Olympic Committee until the end of 2022.
The latest decision taken by IOC means that North Korea will miss out on the Beijing Winter Games after the country failed to send a team to the Tokyo Olympics.
Thomas Bach, during a news conference, said, “The National Olympic Committee of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is suspended until the end of 2022 as a result of its unilateral decision not to participate (in Tokyo).”
North Korea was the only country that had not sent athletes to Tokyo Olympics 2020 which was held in July-August 2021.
North Korea suspended from IOC: What it means?
Apart from missing out on the Beijing Winter Games, the suspension of North Korea from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) until the end of 2022 also means that the country will not receive any form of financial support during its suspension and will definitely forfeit support that had been previously withheld due to the sanctions.
However, Thomas Bach, the IOC Chief also said that the International Olympic Committee did reserve the right to make decisions on any individual North Korean athletes who will qualify for Beijing 2022 and will reconsider the duration of the country’s suspension.
North Korea received a fair warning: International Olympic Committee
The International Olympic Committee said that North Korea was warned of the consequences of not participating in the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
The statement by the IOC executive board said that throughout the process, the PRK NOC was given a fair opportunity to be heard and they received very clear warnings about the consequences of its position.
North Korea was aware of the fact that any form of violation of the Olympic Charter will ultimately expose them to the measures and the sanctions provided in the Olympic Charter.
The International Olympic Committee also said that they had lengthy talks and had also offered solutions, including COVID-19 vaccines, to the North Koreans, however, these measures were systematically rejected by the National Olympic Committee of North Korea.
Why North Korea withdrew its team from Tokyo Olympics?
The National Olympic Committee of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had decided to withdrew its team from Tokyo Olympics 2020 in April citing a need to protect their athletes from the world public health crisis which was caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.
North Korea in Olympics
The suspension from the International Olympic Committee has marked a steep drop down in North Korea’s Olympic status since the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea where the IOC had tried to aid a diplomatic breakthrough.
Athletes from North and South Korea had marched together in the opening ceremony and had joined together in a women’s ice hockey team.
To the 2018 Winter games, North Korea had sent 10 competitors, none in 2014 at Sochi, Russia, and 2 to Vancouver in 2010.