September 30, 2023

North Korean weightlifters skip Olympic qualifier in Cuba despite registering

Absence means athletes won’t be able to compete in Paris and suggests DPRK hasn’t eased COVID border controls

North Korean weightlifters failed to show at an Olympic qualifying competition in Cuba on Thursday despite registering for the event, extending a yearslong absence from international sport.

The development comes after the DPRK’s registration last month raised the possibility that the country would soon ease its strict COVID-19 border controls, which have prevented even its own citizens from entering the country since early 2020.