Why North Korea’s Olympic withdrawal is about much more than public health
Public health is only a partial reason for North Korea’s decision to withdraw from Tokyo. The timing just isn’t right.
North Korea announced that it will not take part in the Tokyo Olympics this summer. Publicized on April 5 following a decision taken at a meeting of the DPRK Olympic Committee, the North described the decision not to participate in Japan as a way to “protect players from the world public health crisis caused by COVID-19.”
But there is more to it. The decision to withdraw from Tokyo was taken at the highest levels, and coordinated for political impact. The policy goals transcend infectious disease management.
Wise Move, or Overreaction?
Arguably, the withdrawal is
- 01How Kim Jong Un’s crackdown on foreign culture hurts Korean reconciliation
- 02North Korea is ordering small-time secretaries to clean up its ideological mess
- 03North Korea faces uncertain future after mass exodus of UN and foreign NGO staff
- 04South Korea’s right-wing resurgence spells uncertainty for North Korea policy
- 05Why North Korea’s Olympic withdrawal is about much more than public health
- 06How Chinese netizens reacted to North Korea’s contentious ballistic missile test
- 07North Koreans sharpen their cyberskills at online coding competitions
- 08What we know about North Korea’s ‘newly developed’ missiles