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North Korea misses Winter Olympics

SEOUL (AsiaNews): For the first time in 12 years, North Korea had no representatives at the Olympic Winter Games. The organising committee only listed Korea on the list of participants for the Russian games in Sochi that began on February 7.

No athletes from North Korea qualified in winter sports this year. But the Sochi Olympic Committee explained that the Pyongyang regime was not even granted the wild card often given to developing or under-developed nations to promote the participation of lesser-equipped or poorer countries.

It seems that the North Korean government wanted to send its ceremonial head of state, Kim Yong-nam, to the opening celebrations, but was initially unclear whether the Russian government would acquiesce or not, as only the heads of state from participating nations were invited.

Founded on principles of self-sufficiency, the regime led by Kim Jong-un has placed much weight on sport, celebrating the victorious athletes as heroes of the revolution. 

 

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 medicine.

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