“The country has said it will avoid these summer games to protect players from the global public health crisis caused by Govt-19,” DBRK Sports, a state-run media outlet that focuses on sports affairs, said in a statement on Tuesday.
The decision was made by the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) Olympic Committee, which held a video conference meeting with team members and sports officials on March 25 in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, DPRK Sports said.
This is the first time North Korea has missed the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles and the 1988 Seoul Olympics. In 2018, the leaders of the two Koreas agreed to co-host the 2032 Olympics, but the debate between Korea over the issue was halted in 2019.
The country has decided to sever all ties with the outside world by 2020 to prevent corona virus cases from coming. North Korea has not reported a major outbreak of Kovit-19, and there are no signs of this happening, although experts suspect the country has not even found a single virus, according to Pyongyang.
According to the Russian embassy in Pyongyang, there is a shortage of supplies and severe restrictions on daily life, with foreign diplomats and aid workers fleeing the country in large numbers in recent months.
The first event of the Games, the Olympic Torch Relay, officially launched on March 25th. The Olympic flame is now coming across the country, being carried by 10,000 runners through 47 provinces on a 121-day voyage from Fukushima to Tokyo.
But restarting the game was a controversial choice, given the growing logistics challenges and concerns about the epidemic. In Japan, public support for the show has always been low.
CNN’s Matthias Grease contributed to this report.