WASHINGTON, Sept. 8 (Yonhap) -- The International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided Wednesday to suspend North Korea's national Olympic committee for unilaterally deciding not to take part in the Tokyo Olympic Games, a suspension that will bar the North from participating in next year's Beijing Winter Games.
"The Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee today decided to suspend the Olympic Committee of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (PRK NOC) until the end of 2022, as a result of the NOC's unilateral decision not to participate in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020," the IOC said on its website, referring to North Korea by its official name.
The IOC said the PRK NOC was the only national Olympic committee that did not participate in the Tokyo Olympics. North Korea announced in April it would not be taking part in the Tokyo Olympic Games, citing its need to protect its athletes from the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the suspension, the North Korean committee will not be entitled to any assistance or program from the IOC.
The IOC said the financial support from the IOC that was due to be allocated to the North but had been withheld due to international sanctions will be "definitively forfeited, given that the PRK NOC did not contribute to the success of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020."
The IOC said the participation of any North Korean athletes in the Beijing Olympics will be decided appropriately in the future, should any North Korean athlete qualify for the games.
Under decade of Kim's rule, N. Korea makes strides in nuke, missile capabilities
How Kim Jong-un, once a young political novice, cemented power in N. Korea in 10 years
Talks for end-of-war declaration gather pace, but skepticism lingers
N. Korea's SLBM drive aimed at regime survival, military edge, negotiation leverage: analysts
N. Korea's suspension from Olympics augurs ill for Seoul's peace efforts