North Korean athletes performed well at the Asian Games in Hangzhou despite challenging circumstances, such as a yearslong absence from international competitions, the country’s vice sports minister has said. North Korea finished in 10th place in the medal table with 11 golds, 18 silvers and 10 bronzes. At the previous Asian Games in 2018, North Korea also ranked 10th, but with 12 golds, 12 silvers and 13 bronzes.
“The results are pretty good considering that the athletes took part in an international competition for the first time in four years,” O Kwang-hyok, vice minister of the North’s Ministry of Physical Culture and Sports, said in an interview carried Wednesday by the Choson Sinbo, a pro-North Korea newspaper in Japan.North Korea had been absent from the past two major international sports competitions. It skipped the Tokyo Summer Olympics in 2021, citing COVID-19 concerns.The International Olympic Committee (IOC) subsequently banned North Korea from the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, saying the country failed to fulfill its duties and obligations as an IOC member state.
The ban was lifted at the end of 2022, and since the 19th Asian Games were postponed by a year because of the lingering COVID-19 pandemic, North Korea was eligible to participate.”We earned confidence that we can always win in high-level competitions like the Olympics, as well as international competitions for different categories,” O said in the interview with the newspaper, whose articles are considered to reflect Pyongyang’s positions.O touted North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, saying Kim “brightly shone” the path forward for the North’s sports and vowed 슬롯게이밍 to join the ranks of major players in the global sports scene