North Korea has been suspended from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for failing to send a team to the Tokyo Olympics 2021. The suspension will run until the end of 2022.
The suspension also puts North Korea out of contention for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. North Korea was the only country to not participate in the Tokyo Olympics and as a result broke the Olympic Charter.
North Korea’s refusal to participate in the Tokyo Olympics came after it rejected all of the IOC's proposals over coronavirus safety protocols. IOC President Thomas Bach confirmed the suspension in a press conference. He said:
"The NOC of the People's Republic of Korea was the only NOC not participating in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The IOC executive board decided to suspend the NOC until the end of 2022, as a result of this unilateral decision.”
North Korea warned of consequences
The IOC said North Korea had been warned of the consequences of not participating.The IOC executive board, in a statement, said:
"Throughout the process, the PRK NOC was given a fair opportunity to be heard, and received very clear warnings about the consequences of its position and the fact that any violation of the Olympic Charter would ultimately expose the PRK NOC to the measures and sanctions provided in the Olympic Charter.”
The IOC chief also said the North Korean Olympic Committee would not receive financial support during the suspension and would forfeit support that had previously been withheld due to sanctions.
The IOC chief, however, said the committee did reserve the right to make decisions on any individual North Korean athletes who qualify for the Beijing Winter Olympics and to reconsider the duration of the country's suspension.
The IOC said it had held lengthy talks and offered solutions, including vaccines, to the North Koreans but these measures had been rejected by the country's Olympic committee.