North Korea has withdrawn from competing in the Tokyo Olympic Games due to fears over the coronavirus pandemic.
A website from North Korea's Sports Ministry said that it's national Olympic Committee had agreed during a meeting last month that it had opted not to participate in this year's games to protect its athletes from the world public health crisis caused by COVID-19.
Having had to postpone the event last year, organisers have been working tirelessly to ensure that this years rescheduled Games are able to go ahead by introducing unprecedented measures, including banning international spectators.
Japan's Olympic Committee has not claimed that it has not yet been notified that North Korea wishes to withdraw from the Games.
Katsunobu Kato, Japan's chief cabinet secretary, said the government hopes many countries will join the Olympics and he went on to promise ample anti-virus measures to make for a safe Olympic Games.
South Korea's Unification Ministry expressed their disappointment over the North's decision, saying it had hoped that the Tokyo Olympics would provide an opportunity to improve inter-Korean relations, which have declined amid a stalemate in larger nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang.
Author: Jake Wilkin