Citing the coronavirus, North Korea has become the first country in the world to decide to withdraw from the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
It is true that North Korea is very sensitive about COVID-19 and knowing that there could be a massive catastrophe in a country with an already crushed health system.
The state-run website said on Tuesday that "to protect players from the world public health crisis caused by COVID-19, North Korea's Olympic Committee had decided not to participate in the Tokyo Games in July.
North Korea has already boycotted the Olympics and other international sporting events for political reasons or has failed to appear when none of its athletes or teams have qualified. According to Seoul's unification ministry, this is the first time North Korea has dropped its name from an international Olympic program citing a contagious disease.
Pyongyang has developed a reputation for back-to-back talks with Seoul and Washington at the last minute to boost its bargaining power before returning, but experts say it is unlikely it will overturn the Olympic decision.
Park Won Gon, a professor of North Korea studies at Seoul’s Ewha Womans University said that North Korea has shown “a coronavirus-related neurosis since it declared an emergency anti-virus system in January last year”.
Park said it’s the questionable thing that North Korea will manage enough vaccines for its about 26 million people and show any major progress report in its anti-virus fight by July.
North Korean officials know how devastating a virus can be in a country with public health care infrastructure that has been embarrassing for decades. North Korea has so far taken some of the world's most dangerous anti-virus measures, including closing its international borders for 15 months and allowing foreign nationals to leave.
North Korea still officially claims to be coronavirus-free but it's an assertion in many foreign expert's disputes.
The decision of North Korea to skip the Olympics shows that they “think contact with foreigners spectators is the most dangerous thing right now,” said Seo Yu-Seok at the Seoul-based Institute of North Korean Studies.Dr. Dhillon Randeep
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