Showing posts with label north korea. Show all posts
Showing posts with label north korea. Show all posts

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Mandatory Attendance: Why is North Korea the only country suspended from the Olympics for not participating?

Map of North and South Korea, located on a single peninsula, with Japan across a sea straight to the southeast of South Korea, and North Korea sharing land borders with China and a small strip of Russia.
Location of North Korea and neighboring countries. Map by Johannes Barre & Patrick Mannion (CC BY-SA) (source)
North Korea Banned from 2022 Winter Olympics

As readers of our updated Parade of Nations feature know, this year's Winter Olympics in Beijing are missing one of the usual teams: North Korea. In fact, North Korea wasn't even allowed to attend. 

That's because last year the country's Olympic committee chose not to attend the Summer Olympics in Tokyo - out of what it insisted were COVID-19 concerns - and as punishment, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspended it from participation for all of 2022.*

Wait...what? There's a punishment for not attending the Olympics? And that punishment is...not being allowed to attend the Olympics? Then why has this never happened before? If those are the questions you're asking yourself, you're not alone.

We had even more questions, but we couldn't find the answers anywhere in news reporting, official websites, or even Wikipedia - so we went deeper. To find out what we learned, keep reading for the whole story, or skip to the bottom for a bullet-point summary.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

What is North Korea?

North Korea's threats of war have captured the world's attention in recent weeks, leaving citizens of other East Asian countries anxiously awaiting the latest news. A new war is unlikely, but how much do you know about North Korea, its international status, and its dispute with the south?

Map of North Korea and South Korea
Map by Johannes Barre & Patrick Mannion (CC BY-SA) (source)
What is North Korea?
Located on the northern half of the Korean Peninsula between South Korea and China (and sharing a short border with Russia), North Korea is a medium-sized East Asian country of about 24 million people. Despite its size, it boasts the fourth-largest army in the world, and has remained officially at war with South Korea since 1950.

Sometimes considered one of the world's last remaining communist states, North Korea actually claims no longer to follow communist ideology. However, it surely does hold the distinction of having the world's most closed borders, with its totalitarian government tightly controlling the flow of information and people in and out of the country.