» 02/04/2014, 00.00
NORTH KOREA - RUSSIA
Sochi: No Olympics for North Korea
Athletes from the nation under the regime led by Kim Jong-un failed to qualify for the Winter Games which start on February 7. And the Olympic Committee denies Pyongyang the "wild card" facilitated entry for poor or developing countries.
Seoul ( AsiaNews) - For the first
time in 12 years, North Korea has no representative at the Olympic Winter Games
year's edition will open in Sochi, Russia , on 7 February. The
Organizing Committee have entered only " Korea" on the list of participating nations,
confirming that no athlete from the North will be present at the event.
North Korea's exclusion is explained by the failure of
any of it's' athletes to qualify for in winter sports. But
the Sochi Olympic Committee adds that the Pyongyang regime was not even granted
the "wild card" facilitated entry for developing or under-developed nations,
invented to promote the participation of lesser equipped or poorer countries in
the sporting event.
In any case, it seems that the North
Korean government wants to send Kim Yong-nam (the " head of state", whose
office is purely ceremonial) to the opening celebrations all the same. It
is unclear whether the Russian government will accept, given that traditionally
only the Heads of State and Government of the nations represented in that
edition take part in the opening of the Games.
The absence of North Korea is
another wake-up call for the general situation of North Korea. Founded
on principles of self-sufficiency, the regime led by Kim Jong-un has always
given much weight to sports, celebrating the victorious athletes as "heroes
of the Revolution". In
the Juche doctrine (elaborated by the father of the nation Kim Il-sung ) , the
question of sport is seen as "crucial" to affirming the "great
results" obtained from national sport's education at an international
Along with soldiers and scientists, athletes are considered "first rank citizens"
and get the best of everything to be found in North Korea, from food to
clothing and medicines.
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Only Sochi-marked vehicles are now allowed in the town that will host next month's Winter Olympics. Air and sea traffic restrictions have also been imposed; anyone travelling to the area will submit to stringent security checks area.
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