North Korea drops out of Tokyo Olympics due to COVID-19

North Korea says it will skip s Olympic Games to "protect players from COVID-19".

Elad Benari ,

Tokyo Olympics
Tokyo Olympics

North Korea has decided to drop out of the Tokyo Olympics due to concerns over the coronavirus, CNN reported Monday.

The country said it would skip this summer's Olympic Games to "protect players from the world public health crisis caused by COVID-19," said a report published in North Korean media.

The decision was made by the DPRK Olympic Committee, which held a video conference meeting with committee members and sports officials on March 25 in capital Pyongyang.

Organizers were forced to postpone the Olympics for the first time in the event's history in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Last month, the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee said international spectators would be refused entry into Japan due to the pandemic.

North Korea has insisted it has no single virus case on its territory, though that claim is being questioned by outside experts.

In July, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un placed the city of Kaesong near the border with South Korea under total lockdown after a person was found with suspected COVID-19 symptoms.